By Halcyon Eve on March 17, 2006
Photo by Baby Kato
Photo by Baby Kato
"This makes a fairly dense, rustic (ugly, even) loaf of bread that is tasty and not sweet. It is crusty and rough on the outside, chewy inside. Nummy hot with lots of butter! Note: sometimes (depending on humidity etc) it takes a bit more than the 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk--just keep adding a little bit at a time until it all holds together as stated in the recipe."
Serving Size: 1 (94 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 8
"This is wonderful bread, HOWEVER (and it's a big "however"), you'll get much more authentic and palatable results if you substitute pastry flour for all-purpose; Ireland grows soft wheat--a better fit for leavening with soda and acid (and it's my understanding that sour milk is more traditional than buttermilk). You can also use 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour to 1 cup white pastry flour with maybe an extra half-teaspoon of soda and a bit more salt--delicious!
Stingo mentioned that the dough should be handled as little as possible, which turns out to have been sound advice. 10 seconds of very gentle kneading with floured fingers prior to shaping the loaf and cutting the cross is plenty and ensures that you'll get as much rise as possible. I followed the baking instructions to a T and got great results. I've read wrapping the bread in a tea towel when it comes out of the oven will result in a softer crust."
"I've made this recipe a few times long ago, and while the results were decent enough, they weren't inspiring enough to merit a stellar review. I attribute this to my fault as a newbie baker, because I have since had the help of a more experienced baker, and the results are very, very good. The key for me was to work the bread very gently - just fold the combined wet and dry mixture until it was just ready to form a ball of dough. I turned the bowl contents out onto a floured countertop and lightly patted them into a loaf, and put it onto a parchment covered baking sheet. What a difference in the texture - I can see what the fuss is about now. I will definitely be making this again (and again). Thanks so much for sharing the truly traditional Irish soda bread."
"Simple, rustic soda bread. Just what I was looking for. Made this yesterday with whole wheat flour and milk/vinegar. Used almost 1 3/4 cup of liquid and baked perfectly in 35 minutes on a baking stone."
"Simple, fast, dense, and tasty. This bread is a new staple in my diet now. I made it entirely with whole wheat flour and vegan buttermilk (soymilk + lemon juice). I like it best the day after--the flavors really develop then."
"This is EXCELLENT. I've been using another very similar recipe for Irish soda bread, which was ok. But the difference here I think is the higher temperature, 425. This bread turned out crusty/chewy/flavorful and delicious. I used 1/2 whole wheat flour, and made buttermilk from regular 1% milk with lemon juice. It's also incredibly easy to make."
"Yummy! So easy and simple! I followed other reviewers' advice and mixed/kneaded as little as possible and that definitely kept ithe texture perfect. Mine baked for just under 40 minutes and it came out crunchy on the outside, beautifully fluffy and chewy on the inside. Made for St. Patty's day dinner, and I will make it again!"
"It takes more than the listed buttermilk - nearly 2 cups total. Very easy recipe and my family has requested it more often!"
"Loved it and will definitely make it again!"
"great bread! We did it with corned beef and cabbage for St. Patty's Day. We had some left over, and it was great toasted with butter and jam! thanks for sharing this recipe!"
"Very good, easy. I would add a little more salt next time, but I love this simple peasant food. Great with corned beef and cabbage dinner. Thanks!"
"This paired SO perfectly with an Irish Guiness stew. Yum-yum-yum! The texture of this bread is amazing -- soft and chewy with a thick crunchy crust. The dough was really sticky, so I coated my hands with flour when handling it and that helped a lot."
"Every St. Patrick's Day you'll find me picking raisins out of my piece of soda "bread," so this recipe is near and dear to my heart. It's very dense and so good with soups and stews."
"I made a mini loaf, wow was it wonderful Halcyon Eve. This traditional Irish Soda Bread was quick and really easy to make. I scaled the recipe back to make a quarter of the dough. It turned out to be crusty on the outside and tender and flaky, with a nice flavor on the inside. I had hot bread on the table in no time. It tasted great hot and just as nice toasted the next day. Thanks so much for sharing a recipe that I will make again."
"We ate almost the entire loaf straight out of the oven. Sooo good!"
"Four ingredients, five stars!!! Followed directions verbatim and got a beautiful, rustic, crusty loaf that was pure deliciousness. This one is a keeper!!!"
"Very good bread that is really simple to make. I love how fast and hassle free this is and it goes great with soup."
"Made this tonight and was happy with the way it turned out. I will make again and try using pastry flour like another reviewer suggested."
"This is the same recipe I've been making for over 40 years. I love this recipe! I have made using buttermilk and also with sour milk, both with great results. I often brush the outside with soften butter, fresh hot out of the oven. Splurge on imported Irish Butter to take it to the next level (if you can find/afford it). Thanks for posting!!"
"Fast, easy and good. In the time it took me to preheat the oven, I was able to complete the preparation of the dough. I hardly knead. Just enough to get the whole thing wet and into a ball. I used waxed paper instead of oil or butter on the cooking sheet. Baked for 40 minutes, until the toothpick came out clean. Then upon removal from the oven, I wrapped it up in the wax paper it sat on in the oven and a tea towel, then leaned at an angle on the counter against the wall to cool, so that the crust is not too hard or too soft. Served with corned beef and cabbage/potatoes for dinner. Will make toast in the morning with butter and jam."