Irish Soda Bread — The Other Irish Staple
Corn beef, cabbage and Guinness get all the hype when St. Patrick's Day rolls around, but there's another often overlooked Irish staple that is just as attention-worthy. Soda bread. Nope, it's not made with your favorite fizzy drink, but a more kitchen appropriate product, baking soda.
What is it? Irish Soda Bread, or soda bread as it's referred to in Ireland, is a type of quick bread made using flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk. It's denser than your average loaf and gets its rise from the reaction between the baking soda and the acids in buttermilk, rather than yeast. There are many variations on the recipe, each one incorporating the flavor of the region from which it is derived, but the most popular recipe on this side of the Atlantic involves the addition of dried currants or raisins.
How to eat it: Soda bread, no matter what kind (well, maybe sans raisins), pairs perfectly with a heart stew or pint, but is equally as tasty (if not more so) on its own with a healthy spattering of butter or jam.
How to make it: Because it is a quick bread and uses ingredients that are always on hand, you can throw together a few loaves in no time at all — less than an hour to be exact. Here are a few recipes we love:
- Skillet Irish Soda Bread via Smitten Kitchen
- Maura Laverty's Irish Soda Bread via Joy of Baking
- Irish Soda Bread Muffins via Skinny Taste
- Irish Soda Bread Scones with Salty Whiskey Butter via A Cozy Kitchen
- Savory Cheddar and Cranberry Soda Bread via Joy the Baker (Not exactly traditional, but delicious nonetheless.)
How to Store it: The bread can be stored at room temperature for about three days well wrapped or up to one month in the freezer.