Irish Soda Bread is something I have loved to make for years now. I made it often for my dad when I lived with him. I also made Irish farl often which is the same recipe as below but cooked on a buttered flat cast iron pan and made to look more like scones once cut. I make our Irish Soda Bread pretty plainly but I often see them made with caraway seeds and dried fruits like raisin and craisins which you can add easily to the recipe.
Tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day. My husband and I both have Irish heritage (him moreso than my little bit of Scotch-Irish blood) so I personally make a small effort to celebrate the day as “Irish Heritage Day.” Being part of a religion that has ancestor worship as a great part of it I feel like adding this day to our personal celebrations isn’t “bad”. We don’t celebrate the Saint in our home but we also understand his history and a bit of the Catholic Church. We are not part of the Pagan population that lashes out against this day. We just turn the day into something else. Some sources say soda bread wasn’t started by the Irish but seeing how largely associated it is with them and it’s history there I think it’s quite appropriate for an Irish heritage celebration.
To make the bread you will need:
*4 1/2 cups flour plus extra on hand (we use unbleached wheat)
*2 cups buttermilk (we use raw)
*2 teaspoons baking soda
*1 teaspoon salt (we use kosher for most of our bread making)
You will also need a pan for baking. I like using an enameled cast iron pot but you can use a greased (hence the butter in the ingredient list) cake pan to help keep its shape or a cookie sheet. Anything really that will hold the bread. Also things you will need are something to cover the bread while baking (a lid or aluminum foil), a sharp knife and a brush to butter the bread after if you so choose to.
Now, you can either shape it into a ball or put into circular bakeware (around 9 inches in diameter). I personally tend to shape it either way. Today I am using an enameled cast iron pot but I used to use a cookie sheet.
Let cool then slice or break apart to enjoy!
If you want to make it on the stove top I would suggest a cast iron pan. I had a completely flat (no sides) smooth one we used for tortillas that was perfect for this. Warm up a bit on low and brush with butter. Then add your rounded dough. Flatten a bit and then cook on low and flip once one side is golden brown. Then cook on the other side. Butter is your friend here. It should end up pretty flat. Once you’ve judged it to be fully cool cut like a pizza and serve!