With a name like Reiley I ought to know how to make a loaf of Irish soda bread! Actually, I was taught this homemade soda bread recipe by the owner of a sweet little pub in southwest Ireland. I was surprised to learn just how easy it is to make this hearty, satisfying bread. With just 5 ingredients and no kneading required, you can produce a loaf of warm, crusty bread in under an hour.
Using the right ingredients
The key to this hearty loaf is high-quality, stone ground wheat flour. This kind of flour seems to be ubiquitous in Ireland but it’s definitely more rare on North American shores. It may take a little searching but the results are worth the effort. The Kitchn has a good article explaining exactly what stone ground flour is, in case you’re not sure. You can find this time of flour at some health food and specialty grocers. I know Bob’s Red Mill makes a stone ground whole wheat. It’s available on Amazon if your local store doesn’t carry it.
- 3 c stone ground whole wheat flour
- 1 c white flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 c buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the buttermilk, stirring to combine, until you have a sticky dough.
- Knead the dough lightly before transferring to a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Shape the dough into a flattened round. Cut a cross into the top to release the fairies. (I was not aware that fairies live in bread dough but since I was instructed on this key step by an Irish baker, I'm sticking to it!)
- Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes. Bread will be golden on top and offer a hollow sound when tapped when it is fully cooked.
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