This is a quick and easy Irish soda bread that is wonderful when served with a hearty winter beef stew or with a vegetarian chili or curry. This recipe is a great introduction for those of you who might want to get into baking bread. Soda bread is a type of quick bread in which sodium bicarbonate is used as a leavening agent instead of the traditional yeast. This bread has a long history and became popular for it's very basic ingredients during Irelands less wealthy years. Now it's just practical and delicious!
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 4 to 4 ½ cups flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 Tbsp butter (softened)
- 1 cup dried berries (either raisins, blueberries or currants)
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1 ¾ cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
- Work the butter into the flour mixture using either your fingers or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the dried fruit.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the beaten egg and the buttermilk to the well and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is too stiff to stir.
- Turn mixture onto a floured surface and gently knead until it forms a rough ball. Do not over-knead. Shape into a round ball.
- Place in a lightly greased cast iron pan and place the dough into the pan. Using a serrated knife, score the top of the dough with a deep X shape. The scoring of the bread with an X allows the heat to get into the center of the dough and thoroughly cook the bread.
- Bake 35-40 minutes until the top of the bread is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the pan. Irish soda bread is best served immediately or within a day or two. We served ours with a marscapone cheese with smashed fresh blueberries.