Soda Bread … Anyone Can Do It

Irish soda bread is the perfect side dish to a hearty bowl of Irish stew.

What do you eat with a hearty bowl of Irish stew and mug of Guinness beer?

Patrick Abbott, co-owner of Cup ‘n Cork, knows the answer: Irish soda bread.

“This is what an Irish mom would have been throwing together before the family got home,” Patrick said.

The bread is so easy to make, anyone can do it. And even better, it is quick.

But the kicker: you won’t find any actual “soda” in this side dish.

Patrick takes you behind the scenes at Cup ‘n Cork to show how it is done.

irish soda bread

Patrick’s Irish Brown Soda Bread

7 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ cup toasted wheat germ (in the cereal aisle at your supermarket)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons UNSALTED butter, melted

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk it:
Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, wheat germ, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, sugar, and 2 tablespoons melted butter and whisk it until the sugar has dissolved.

Fold it:
Using rubber spatula, gently fold the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until the dough starts to form and no dry flour remains.

Knead it:
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter and knead until cohesive mass forms, about 30 seconds. Pat the dough into a 7-inch round and transfer to a prepared sheet.

Mark it with a T:
Using sharp paring knife or single-edge razor blade, make two 5-inch-long, ¼-inch-deep slashes with swift, fluid motion along top of the loaf to form a cross.

Bake it:
Put the loaf in the oven until it is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. It will take about 45 to 50 minutes. Make sure you rotate the sheet halfway through baking.

After you take the loaf out of the oven, cover it with more butter and let it cool.
Then cut off a piece and dip it into your warm Irish stew!