This Irish Soda Bread takes less than 10 minutes to mix together and comes out of the oven with a wonderfully crisp crust. Grab a slice warm from the oven and slather it in butter!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Are you wearing green today? Drinking a shamrock shake? Eating corned beef and cabbage? Or are you saving your celebration for this weekend? If you do nothing else, I implore you to make this super easy Irish soda bread recipe!
I’ve made a ton of variations on traditional Irish soda bread over the years – scones, brown bread, whiskey soda bread with Irish whiskey butter, and rye soda bread – however, this original classic version continues to be my absolute favorite. It bakes up with a fabulous crisp crust and a light, tender crumb. It’s the perfect vehicle for slathering on embarrassing amounts of Kerrygold butter.
Have you ever read about the history of Irish soda bread? So interesting!
It came about as a result of Ireland not producing grain with a high enough protein content to work successfully with yeast. However, the lower protein content resulted in a softer flour that worked exceptionally well with baking soda and together could product a beautiful rise. I was always under the impression that Irish soda bread contained raisins or some sort of dried fruit and caraway seeds, but from what I’ve read, this is an Americanized version of the bread and traditionally it only included four ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.
This bread could not be any easier to whip up, so hurry – get into the kitchen and you’ll have a warm loaf of bread ready for you to devour in an hour. One bowl, a whisk, a fork, and some light elbow grease is all you need. I love the rustic nature of the bread and how hearty it tastes. If you have a cast iron skillet, by all means, use that to make this bread! The crust comes out substantially crisper, which I just love. If not, you can use a regular baking sheet with parchment paper and it will still be fabulous, but the cast iron definitely works some magic on this bread!
Would you think less of me if I told you that my husband and I polished off half of this Irish soda bread for lunch? It’s seriously irresistible. I love eating it plain, or with loads of butter. Leftover pieces are great popped in the toaster oven at 350 degrees F – the outside gets nice and crisp, and the inside remains soft and warm.
Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Work the softened butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or your fingertips until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the buttermilk and stir with a fork just until the dough begins to come together. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead just until the dough becomes cohesive and bumpy, 12 to 14 turns. (Do not knead until the dough is smooth, or the bread will turn out tough.)
Pat the dough into a round about 6 inches in diameter and 2 inches high; place on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Score the dough by cutting a cross shape on the top of the loaf.
Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, or the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F on an instead-read thermometer, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and brush the surface with the melted butter. Cool to room temperature before slicing, about 30 to 40 minutes. Leftovers should be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.