Almost Traditional Irish Soda Bread

March 17, 2013
by Jack McNulty
Almost Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Traditional soda bread recipes should only contain flour, baking soda, salt and sour milk – that’s it! I have seen many recipes that a fat or raisins in the ingredients, but this is actually considered an entirely different recipe called ‘spotted dog’.

Soda bread will often turn out rather heavy, with a gummy texture when using the simple ingredients.  I find the interior of the bread becomes more flaky and the crust a bit harder when adding about 20 gr. of olive oil.  The added fat will shorten the gluten a bit, which can also be achieved using butter. But, olive oil also hardens the crust during the baking process and butter just creates the flakiness inside.

You can also make this recipe lactose-free by replacing the buttermilk with a mixture of: 180 gr. soy yogurt, 220 gr. rice milk, 5 gr. cream of tartar and 1 Tbl. lemon juice oil).

This recipe makes one large round loaf.



Irish Soda Bread
makes about 500 gr.

480 gr. all-purpose flour
8 gr. baking soda
8 gr. salt
420 gr. buttermilk
20 gr. olive oil

Lightly grease and flour a deep cake pan or oven-safe pot (I like using my le crusset pot for making this bread). Combine the flour, baking soda and salt and sift into a large mixing bowl. Mix together the olive oil and buttermilk, then add this mixture to the flour to form a sticky dough. Place the dough on a floured surface and lightly knead – be careful to resist overworking the dough as too much kneading will cause the gasses to escape. Shape the dough into a round flat shape and cut a cross in the top of the dough. Cover the pan with another pan or the top of your baking pot. Bake in a 220°C oven for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake an additional 10 minutes. The bottom of the bread should have a hollow sound when tapped. Cover the bread with a towel and lightly sprinkle water on the towel to help keep the bread moist.