Irish Soda Bread

whole wheat irish soda bread


An amazing way to teach your kids about other cultures is through food. In Ireland, “Irish Soda Bread” is made by using baking soda as it’s rising agent, rather than yeast.  It is reported this was used instead because of the soft wheat they grow. This site is a fun look into the evolution of the soda bread and contains several recipes.  They say traditional and pure soda bread is only made with flour, baking soda, salt, and soured buttermilk.  The only thing I changed here is I made my own buttermilk (because we didn’t have any).  To make your own buttermilk, all you need is to add:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 TBL lemon juice

Let milk and lemon juice sit for at least 5 or more minutes.

DSC_0865 irish sodabread2
irishsodabread4 irishsodabread3

I love the simplicity of this recipe! Almost like the artisan bread.  Fewer ingredients, and little cooking time is always appealing to me.  I love also the incorporation of whole wheat flour (the finer you have it ground the better, as the flour in Ireland is very soft).

Irish Soda Bread

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt

Mix dry ingredients together.  In a separate cup, measure:

  • 14 ounces of milk (about 1 3/4 cup)
  • 2 TBL lemon juice

Let wet ingredients sit for five minutes or longer.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix until flour is moistened and slightly knead. It should not be over-mixed.   Place ball of dough onto a pan, and bake at 425 for 30-45 minutes.

In keeping tradition, we should have eaten our bread with some Irish stew, but we opted for some corn chowder instead.

Wade eating corn chowder

Wade will eat anything I make. He’s a good sport.

tj eating bread

The kids felt like it was a bit bland, but overall, I think it wasn’t bad.

I could not have put together any letter-I posts this week without the help of Chelsea, Abigail, Mom Said, Emily (Iguana anyone?), Mary, Venessa, and Drama Mama! Thanks ladies!

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This is a great idea about trying foods from different worlds. I want to do this with my kids over the summer. I’ve been telling them that we will check out books and read about other places in the world and we will cook something and each of us (me included) will do a report on it. My other plan is for us to learn the capitals of each state too. Thanks for this great bread recipe, my mom and sister went to Ireland last year and loved it. My sister is ready to go back and just stay there she said. I’m so glad all these ladies could give you ideas for this week. I tried and didn’t have anything that you didn’t mention already.

As a full-blood Irish red-head, my grandmother always taught me to put currants and/or raisens in it…very yummy!