Traditional Irish Soda Bread

17 March, 2019 / by Hank Watson

Irish or not, you had the grand idea of making Irish Soda Bread for your St. Paddy’s celebration. Then you started looking up recipes. By the time you figure out what’s what, it’s already next week!

You say you see recipes with Raisins or Currents? Butter? Sugar? Nope. Nope. AND NOPE!

  • That changes it to “Spotted Dog”, “Railway Cake”, or just a “Tea Cake”. It’s no longer Irish Soda Bread.

Okay, now that we cleared that up…. Would you believe there’s a secret Irish Soda Bread society? “The Society for the Preservation of Soda Bread” actually exists! Okay, so maybe it’s not a secret society.

Back in the day, famine and poverty in Ireland was a real problem. Most of those in dire circumstances had no oven. Soft wheat (less gluten than our heard wheat) was cheap, and a basic bread baked in covered iron pots (bastibles) was born.

I baked mine in a cake pan, but it can be baked on a cookie sheet. The X cut into the bread may seem like a way to be sure it’s baked, it was originally thought to release fairies that can curse the bread (ward off evil). No matter how you cut it, Irish soda bread is an easy, tasty, MUST HAVE for any St. Paddy’s Day celebration! I served it with my homemade Dutch Appelstroop (apple syrup).

The recipe:

  • 4 Cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk (powered buttermilk will also work – just follow package directions)

Preheat oven to 375, and grease and flour 9″ cake pan or whatever vessel you wish to bake in on. I bake it with another 9″ pan on top, and take that off for the last 10 minutes of baking. DO NOT grease the cover pan.

Mix all ingredients in large bowl. You can see in pics that I used a very large metal bowl. It only needs a little kneading , so I just do that in the bowl. If you don’t have this large of a bowl, turn onto lightly floured surface a knead a few times. Flatten into a disc, and place into cake pan (or whatever you are baking in in/on).

In the cake pan, push it to the sides. It will pull back like pizza dough, just push it until it’s as close to sides as you can get it. Cut a cross or X in the top, to edges, BEFORE BAKING. Bake about 25 mins; remove top after 15 mins.

Enjoy! Sláinte!

If you have questions about one of our recipes, or you’d like to see our take on how to prepare a main dish, a side, or a dessert, please Contact Hank Watson at Henriettibles to let us know. We enjoy creating good food and putting the Henriettibles spin on recipes!