I don’t know about you, but I love St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve got some Irish in my blood and since I’m a redhead I look pretty good in the color green, so it only makes sense that I’d look forward to March 17th every year. While I’ll proudly be wearing all the green clothes I can find in my wardrobe and I might even make this chocolate cake with green frosting just for fun, I don’t have any special meal traditions. I think I’ll probably throw together a super easy Shepherd’s Pie, pour my husband a Guinness beer, and bake a loaf of the easiest Irish Soda Bread in the whole wide world.
Did you know that Irish Soda Bread gets its name from one of the most important ingredients, which is baking soda? Since Irish Soda Bread is meant to be made and served without a lot of fuss it doesn’t contain any yeast (hence the importance of the baking soda), which is one of my favorite things about it to be perfectly honest. Historically the Irish literally make a loaf every couple of days (more often if they have unexpected house guests), so having a practical recipe that can go from prep to table pretty quickly just makes sense. Personally, I love that it takes barely any time at all to mix the ingredients and get them into the oven and I really love how rustic this bread is when it’s done baking. Ooh, I have another fun fact. Did you know that this easy no-fuss bread is meant to include just a few ingredients and the Irish don’t include add-ins like currants and/or raisins? Nope, that was totally something Americans did as a way of enhancing what is a perfectly fine bread all on its own. Don’t get me wrong, there is one little addition I make to my Irish Soda Bread, but it’s subtle while adding just a touch of freshness and my entire family loves it a whole lot. I have a pretty good feeling you and your family would love it, too, and the best part is that you probably already have most (if not all) of the ingredients in your kitchen right now.
Irish Soda Bread
Here’s what you need: (makes one small loaf that easily served my family of 4)
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup White Whole Wheat Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
- About 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
- 1 small Egg
- Zest of 1 Orange
Here is what you need to do:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar and stir.
- Add the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest and stir until the mixture forms into a soft dough.
- Remove the dough from bowl and knead on a floured counter top just until all ingredients are combined.
- Form the dough into a ball and place on a greased cookie sheet.
- Cook for 40-45 minutes or until a perfect shade of golden brown.
- Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, slice, slather with butter, and serve.
See? It’s totally one of the easiest breads you’ll ever make and probably one of the tastiest, too. Now tell me. What’s your favorite thing to make, do, or eat on St. Patrick’s Day?