This Irish Soda Bread recipe is a great starter for those who want to bake, but are unsure about yeast. With no rise times and a short ingredient list, you can have fresh bread in less than an hour!
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Soda bread is a type of quick bread common in Ireland since the mid 1800s. Instead of yeast, baking soda is used as the leavening agent (creating small air pockets in the dough to help it rise). In Ireland, soda breads are made from soft wheat (like cake flour) and buttermilk. Traditionally, no raisins or other fruits are added.
For those who aren’t comfortable working with yeast, this bread is a great one to bake. There are no resting times and the dough comes together in a similar manner to biscuits and scones. I have made this bread in the food processor before, but you have to be careful not to overmix the dough. It should come together just enough to hold. Add a little more buttermilk if the mixture is too dry.
I am able to find cake flour in a box in the baking aisle near the boxed cake mixes. It is also available on Amazon: King Arthur Cake Flour.
Irish Soda Bread Recipe
Irish Soda Bread
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened and divided
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust oven rack to top third of oven. Line with parchment or grease a large baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Blend in 2 tablespoons of the butter with a dough blender, fork, or by hand.
- Stir in the buttermilk with a fork just until the dough comes together. Knead on a lightly floured surface to form the dough into a round loaf, about 12 turns. Be careful not to overmix to avoid a tough dough.
- Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet and gently form into a 6 inch wide, 2 inch high circle. Cut 2 perpendicular lines about 1/2 inch deep on top of the loaf in the shape of an X.
- Bake in preheated oven until top is golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Melt remaining tablespoon butter and brush over the bread. Let cool to room temperature before serving, about 40 minutes.