Irish Soda Bread

whole wheat irish soda breadOne of the best Christmas gifts I gave to the grandparents was a dining passport for around the world.  They were assigned a specific day and four different countries.  My kids and I decorated the house for each country and made a meal based on what we thought that country would eat.  It was a huge success!

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!

The giveaway for this week is $100 worth of Slim-Fast products! Head over to my giveaway page to see my high school class photo and enter.

written by
Natalie Monson

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Michelle Stewart says:

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

susan says:

These grandparents loved the Christmas dining passport. It was really fun!

Chelsea says:

You’re so sweet Amy! The bread looks like it turned out wonderfully.

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing the recipe and pics.

dawn says:

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.

Jenny says:

I will try this! It sounds very similar to a simple beer bread I recently wrote about. I’m a collector or easy bread recipes. Thanks.

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