This four ingredient bread has a humble history. It was often eaten in Ireland when money was scarce or during times of famine (in fact, many countries have a version of this simple bread for the very same reasons). Irish Soda Bread gets its name from the baking soda in the recipe which is used instead of yeast. In Ireland, people still eat soda bread all of the time. Nowadays, though, they don’t usually eat it because they have to. They eat it because it is delicious, especially warm out of the oven! In the United States, many Irish Americans like to prepare soda bread as a reminder of their family’s history –especially around St. Patrick’s Day! We hope you have fun making your own!
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1- 1¾ cups buttermilk (*See Sir Sidney’s Tip at the bottom if you don’t have buttermilk.)
Parents: preheat oven to 425 degrees
1. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or brush with butter.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Pour in one cup of the buttermilk, gently stirring until dough is firm enough to form a ball (be careful not to mix your dough too much or your bread will be tough). If the dough is too crumbly add up to ¾ cup more buttermilk. If it is too sticky, sprinkle in a spoon of flour.
4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and lightly pat into a round, slightly flattened 8 inch loaf.
5. Ask an adult to help you slash a ½ inch “X” into the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
6. Bake for about 45 minutes or until top is golden.
Enjoy hot! (Soda bread is especially good served with Sir Sidney’s Homemade Butter!)
*Sir Sidney’s tip: No buttermilk? No PROBLEM! The Irish used to use sour milk in their original recipes. To make your own sour milk, simply mix 2 tablespoons lemon juice or distilled vinegar into 2 cups of milk and wait for 15 minutes.