Irish Soda Bread is one of those recipes that I’ve heard about all my life but have yet to actually have it in a culinary setting. I’ve made versions of this bread before throughout my life as it’s a quick and easy baking project that produces a super satisfying quick bread. This version is adapted from the Skinnytaste version and came to be featured on my blog by the happy accident of my dad accidentally buying buttermilk and my boyfriend looking for a quick bake without yeast. During the current crisis, yeast amongst other items has been particularly difficult to get and my boyfriend wanted to bake something yummy!
Unfortunately for the very brave boyfriend, Jason, he baked his Irish Soda Bread in a loaf tin and most of it came out raw. I decided to make it the morning after telling him to do so and baked mine flat on a cookie sheet which made all the difference. I have made soda bread in a tin before, which is how I avoided his mistake. When I tried to use a tin, I wasn’t able to cut as deep as needed and had to bake it for twice as long and still got a slightly raw bread… Irish soda bread is an extremely dense quick bread, needing full exposure to the heat of the oven in order to cook. The rustic shape that you get from baking it like this is part of the experience. Also essential to a good bake is the cross cut made just before putting the bread into the oven. This cross cut needs to be deep which helps to let even more heat in so that the bread will bake. This bread is an easy one to make and goes really well with both breakfast and dinner! My family enjoyed this slightly lighter take on the traditional Irish soda bread, skipping some calories in the recipe and also cutting the slices much smaller, cutting the loaf into 16 slices rather than 8. Without further ado, here is my new and improved soda bread recipe for you to try in the comfort of your own home!
Irish Soda Bread Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 cup 1% milk fat buttermilk
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup candied lemon peel (I make my own based off Mary Berry’s Lemon Madeira Cake recipe, https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/lemon_madeira_cake_with_15109)
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Mix dry ingredients. Making a well in the center, pour in the buttermilk.
- Mix to combine ingredients until a dough forms. You may need slightly more flour than the recipe calls for to help the dough come together here.
- Once dough forms, turn out onto a floured surface and knead gently for about a minute.
- Add in lemon peel and raisins and knead to combine into the dough. For the best mixing, chop the raisins and lemon peel into smaller bits.
- Shape into a ball and place in the middle of a lined sheet pan.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the bread in half then cut those two halves into quarters. You should make a cut in the shape of a cross.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until golden. The bread can be checked for doneness by inserting a toothpick and if it comes out clean, it’s done.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes and serve warm. Also keeps at room temperature for several days but may start to go stale after the third day.