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5 from 1 vote

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

A simple recipe for a traditional Irish soda bread, a thick slice of this crusty loaf pairs perfectly with soups, stews, saucy dinners, and even just a plain spread of creamy butter.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer, Bread, Snack
Cuisine: Irish
Servings: 8
Calories: 216kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. 3-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups buttermilk
  • add-ins*

Instructions

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and  preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly flour a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Sift all of the dry ingredients into a large, wide mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in 1-1/2 cups of the buttermilk. Stir with one hand, fingers apart, moving in circles to incorporate the buttermilk into the dry ingredients. If necessary, add more buttermilk 1 Tbs. at a time until the dough just barely comes together. (The absorption rate varies depending on the brand of flour.) The dough should be soft—don’t overwork it.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and pat into a round about 6-3/4 inches in diameter and 1-1/2 inches high in the center. Invert the round so the floured side is on top. With a thin, sharp knife, score a cross on the dough about 1/4 inch deep and extending fully from one side to the other.
  • Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 400°F and bake until the bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, another 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Cool to room temperature on a rack, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.

Notes

*Though it’s not traditionally Irish, you can add 3 oz. raisins with the dry ingredients, or experiment with add-ins like freshly chopped herbs, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, or chocolate chips.

Nutrition

Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 263mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 3mg