We recently took a family trip to Ireland. For 8 glorious days, we drove around beautiful countryside, took in the sites, and tucked into Irish Soda Bread. They serve this bread everywhere. It’s such a delicious, nutty, tangy treat.
I couldn’t WAIT to bake up a batch as soon as I got home.
This bread is unique to Ireland. As a historically poor country, the Irish were drawn to the simple ingredients and ease of preparation.
Did you know that some parts of rural Ireland were without plumbing or electricity until as late as the 1970s?
Soda bread is leavened with soda instead of yeast, and can easily be cooked in a iron pot, dangling above a fire. No electrical ovens required!
While we were visiting Ireland, I got to spend an afternoon learning how to bake this bread and churn fresh butter. I’ve made a few changes to the recipe based on what I typically have on hand at home.
Test out this quick bread and let me know what you think!
2 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 3/4 cups White Flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda (not baking powder)
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (avoid the non-fat or low fat varieties)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick melted butter
Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly flour surface. Set aside.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Sift together flours, salt and baking soda. In a separate small bowl, mix together yogurt, milk and melted butter. Pour into flour mixture and mix with your hands until the dough is mostly combined.
Dump onto a clean, lightly floured work surface and sprinkle light with flour. I like to use a large cutting board. Knead dough until you get to a smooth consistently, about 1-2 minutes.
Shape the dough into a round disk – about 2 inches wide and 8 inches in diameter. Take a serrated knife and cut a deep X into the top – at least 1 inch deep.
Place dough on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes. You’ll know the dough is ready when it makes a hollow sound when you knock against it.
Once it’s baked, place on a cooling rack and let cool. Make sure you wait at least 2-3 hours before slicing the bread, otherwise it will crumble. It’s even better the next day, so if you can make it the night before you plan to serve, that’s your best bet.