Famous Irish Soda Bread , from the fresh Island

When I travel on my stomach, I judge a country’s culinary aptitude on its ability to produce good bread and butter. Consistently Ireland provided me with gratifying examples of both. Irish Soda bread was served daily at every pub, guest house and hotel and seemed like it was just pulled out of the oven and rushed to my table. Its grainy richness from soft stone ground whole-wheat flour made my mouth water. I ate it slathered with smooth grassy locally churned butter that intensified the nutty flavor of the wheat.

Soda bread is a quick bread made with ingredients on hand to be eaten with hearty stews, toothsome cheeses and tea. I remember reading somewhere that the Irish consume more tea per capita than any where else in the world.

Distant cousin to the scone, soda bread is made on the fly with whatever is on hand most of the time. Like the scone, it’s best eaten the day it’s made and every hotel and guest house makes their own version to impress.  The basic recipe is wheat and white flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. From there you can add dried fruit, beans, herbs, nuts and sugars to make it your own.

Here is a recipe to try for St. Patty’s Day that will make you smile. I promise..

I used Oat Flour, you could use Whole Wheat Flour

You have to add a few more dry ingredients like white flour, salt and baking soda

I mixed the currants in the dry mixture

Dough will be dry and crumbly at first, but when you knead it...

It ends up looking like this...

Volia! it comes out 45 minutes later looking like this...

Irish Oat Soda Bread
This is a dense, hearty  version of soda bread.  When cold, slice and toast in oven, then slather with butter for best results…

To print recipe click here

Great with homemade stew, or with farmhouse cheeses. It slices better once it’s cooled for a few hours and sets up.
Makes one large loaf
4 cups course oat flour
1 1/2 cups white flour
2  teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/4 cup granulated sugar or splenda
1/2 cup currants
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
Preheat a hot oven to 400F
Mix the dry ingredients
Add the buttermilk and mix until dough is just about mixed. Place on a floured work surface and knead until smooth. Form in a disk and place in a cake pan. cut a cross in the top. Bake for 45 minutes until browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack. If you keep in a dishcloth, the crust will remain soft.
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One Response to Famous Irish Soda Bread , from the fresh Island

  1. Debbie Wilcox says:

    Arlene, I have never made bread but, I am going to give this one a try because I enjoy oat flour more than just wheat flour or white…not to mention it’s healthier. Following the recipe to a tee, can you approximate what the caloric content would be for a slice of the bread with no butter on it. I plan on eating this with a little sugar free strawberry jam. Thanks.

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