Food + Wine

We’re all Irish enough

I’m Irish enough to write my own Soda Bread recipe.

Maybe you’re Irish enough to drink green beer and pee towards strangers once a year.

Potato / Potahto

So.  ‘Irish Soda Bread’ is a bread made of these basic components:  flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk.  The buttermilk reacts with the soda and makes tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide, which makes the bread rise (we’ve all been to science class, yes?)  And then other ingredients are sometimes added like butter and/or eggs… raisins or carraway seeds (never together unless you’re tryin’a be all UnIrish and stuff).

(But me?…  When I do ’em?…  I do not do regular raisins.  No, no.  I only do the golden ones.  But you can raisin how you wish.)

I’ve made a Soda Bread pretty much every year for the past few and never really nailed it down.  But I think I found a winner this year.  And I found it on the treadmill today.

Yup.  Was just sweatin’ away and this idea came to me.  So I stopped to a textable pace and began to type this out on my phone.  It’s what I call ‘cooking in my head’.  Then came home to execute it and see if I had anything good.

And I did.

This is a great recipe!!  I’m using, like, all the whole grains here, but you can feel free to go all in with whole wheat.  Or white.

I don’t judge.

I made this with rye flour, spelt flour, graham flour and whole wheat flour… a little brown sugar, kefir and (Greek) yogurt instead of the traditional buttermilk (because probiotics, y’all), golden raisins and rosemary from my plant.

It is hearty.  It is healthy.  It is h….?…?… heavenly! (tried to come up with an ‘h’ yummy word there for a minute.  did ok.)  It’s one of those breads that would work well next to a stew or your Irish inspired dinner, or for breakfast… barefoot, by the light of the coffee maker (ahem, me), or just as an after-dinner snack/dessert fill-in like these monsters chose to do….

Either way, it’s a solid recipe.  You can toast it and spread with some butter and jam…. or not.  Your choice.

Just be sure to choose to share it with some lovely ones like I get to do.  Every. Day of my life, I get to make food and choose to give it to the people I love.  The people who make me happy.  And better.  And THAT is my life.

And I am in some Irish love with that.


In a medium (3-4 cup size) glass measuring cup, combine the following…

  • 1/2 cup kefir, cold* (plain, unflavored)
  • 1 cup greek (full fat preferred) yogurt, cold*

(*you can sub the traditional buttermilk here and use 1 1/2 cups of it in place of the kefir/yogurt mix.  And I actually used 1 (7 oz) fage total yogurt cup, then added enough kefir to get to the 1 1/2 cups)

Whisk this together until fully combined.

Add in…

  • 2 large eggs

Whisk to break down completely.

Add in…

  • 1 tsp baking soda

Whisk to combine.  Set aside.  Magic bubbles will ensue.

Now.  Let’s get those dry ingredients settled…

In the bowl of your food processor, combine the following…

  • 1 cup rye flour*
  • 1 cup spelt flour*
  • 1 cup graham flour*
  • 1 cup white whole wheat (or whole wheat pastry flour)*
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed (1 tsp ish)

(*feel free to sub 4 cups total of white flour or whole wheat flour, or a combo of the two… you will have a lighter, less dense bread and may not need all the liquid in this recipe)

Pulse to mix everything together and finely chop that rosemary.

Add in…

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, cold

Pulse to break the butter down into the dry.  You want a sandy consistency…

Add in your buttermilk mixture through the spout as you blend*

(*if you’re choosing to go less hearty with the flours, start with only 1 cup of your buttermilk mixture, and blend.  Check consistency and if you have a wet dough, then you’re good to stop!)

Dump your wet, sticky dough onto a lightly floured counter top.

Add in, by hand…

  • 1 cup golden raisins

Mix with your hands until evenly distributed.  It will be sticky, but that’s ok.  Work quickly and try not to add more flour.

Place your dough into a greased/floured 8-9 in round cake pan.

Spread the dough out evenly to the edges.  IT WILL BE STICKY.

Score the top of the dough with your hands or a spatula/wooden spoon handle, to create a shallow X across it.

Brush top of bread dough with…

  • 1 TB melted, unsalted butter

Place in the center rack of your 375 preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes.

(Sorry… wish I could be more exact, but it depends on a lot of factors.  To test doneness, use a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted in the center and if no wet batter clings to it, you’re golden.  (moist crumbs on it is all good))

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes atop a wire rack.

Remove, carefully, from the pan and allow to cool completely on the rack.

Or, be like me and just start diggin’ in there…

Serve room temperature however your pretty ‘lil heart desires.

Thanks for reading, y’all!  Have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day and once I feel 100%, I’ll be back for more fun stuff.  xo

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