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Brown Irish Soda Bread

Brown Irish Soda Bread – An authentic recipe for traditional brown Irish soda bread. So nice for your St. Patrick’s Day menu.

Brown Irish Soda Bread - An authentic recipe for traditional brown Irish soda bread. So nice for your St. Patrick's Day menu. https://www.lanascooking.com/brown-irish-soda-bread/

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Around this time each year, I try to post a recipe to honor my Irish ancestry. In years past, I’ve shared Champ, Leek and Potato Soup, and Irish Currant Scones. At different times I’ve also shared Irish Spiced Fruitcake, Mr. Guinness’ Cake, Beef and Stout Pie, and Chicken Leek and Mushroom Pie.

This year I’d like to share one of the most quintessential Irish recipes of all – soda bread. This is the whole wheat version of the bread made daily in homes throughout Ireland. It’s best eaten the day it’s made and, preferably, with lots and lots of creamy Irish butter!

The dough for this Brown Irish Soda Bread is simple – just a few ingredients – brought together with a quick stir of the hand and baked until beautifully brown. I make it often but mine is never as good as the loaves I’ve enjoyed in Ireland. That’s because of the difference in U.S. and European flours.

Still, I make it and every time I put it in the oven I think of all those Irish ancestors who came before me and how many loaves they made for their families.

Irish Ancestry Runs Deep

I’m definitely a Southern girl. Born and raised in the South with Southern blood running through my veins. But, way down in the depths of my soul, I’m Irish. As Irish as they come.

Ireland is a part of me, and I am a part of it. It is where my heart lives. I hope this loaf is a fitting tribute to my heritage. You’ll not find any dancing leprechauns or drunken green-hatted men here.

I will say, though, that we of Irish descent do tend to have a streak of the superstitious in us. That’s why I always bless my loaf with a deep cross cut into the top and prick each of the four sections to let the fairies out, don’t you know.

And, by the way, those Irish fairies are nothing like Tinkerbell. They’re vicious little devils that will ruin your baking if you don’t watch :-)

How to Make Brown Irish Soda Bread

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Sifted flour and seeds in a large mixing bowl

In a large bowl, sift together both the flours, salt, and baking soda. Add the seeds if using them.

Butter rubbed into flour mixture in mixing bowl

Add the butter to the flour and seed mixture. Using just your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.

In another bowl or measuring cup, lightly whisk the egg together with the buttermilk.

Pouring the buttermilk and egg mixture into flour in mixing bowl

Make a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture and pour in approximately 3/4 of the buttermilk and egg mixture.

Mixing wet and dry ingredients together by hand in mixing bowl

Using your hand, bring the dry and wet ingredients together. Work in a circular motion beginning in the center and bringing in flour from the sides of the bowl. Add more of the buttermilk if needed to make a soft but not sticky dough.

Dough shaped into a round on a lightly floured board

Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out. Gently shape the dough into a round of about 1 1/2 inches thick.

Round of dough slashed and pricked and sitting on parchment paper on a baking sheet

Transfer to a baking sheet and cut a deep cross in the top of the dough round. Prick each of the four sections.

Beautiful and golden brown Irish Soda Bread on a baking sheet

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes. To test whether the loaf is done, tap it on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it’s ready. Place on a wire rack to cool.

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Brown Irish Soda Bread - An authentic recipe for traditional brown Irish soda bread. So nice for your St. Patrick's Day menu.  https://www.lanascooking.com/brown-irish-soda-bread/
Lana Stuart.

More Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Brown Irish Soda Bread - An authentic recipe for traditional brown Irish soda bread. So nice for your St. Patrick's Day menu. https://www.lanascooking.com/brown-irish-soda-bread/

Brown Irish Soda Bread

Soda bread is the traditional bread of Ireland and is still made daily in homes throughout the country.
5 from 4 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Breads
Cuisine: Irish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 276kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons seeds any combination you like (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ⅔ cups buttermilk

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, sift together both the flours, salt, and baking soda. Add the seeds if using them.
  • Add the butter to the flour and seed mixture. Using just your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • In another bowl or measuring cup, lightly whisk the egg together with the buttermilk.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture and pour in approximately 3/4 of the buttermilk and egg mixture. Using your hand, bring the dry and wet ingredients together. Work in a circular motion beginning in the center and bringing in flour from the sides of the bowl. Add more of the buttermilk if needed to make a soft but not sticky dough.
  • Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out. Gently shape the dough into a round about 1 1/2 inches thick. Transfer to a baking sheet and cut a deep cross in the top of the dough round.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes. To test whether the loaf is done, tap it on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it’s ready.
  • Place on a wire rack to cool.

Notes

Nutrition Information

Serving 1slice | Calories 276kcal | Carbohydrates 43g | Protein 9g | Fat 8g | Saturated Fat 3g | Cholesterol 34mg | Sodium 510mg | Potassium 200mg | Fiber 4g | Sugar 3g | Vitamin A 201IU | Calcium 74mg | Iron 2mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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9 Comments

  1. Patricia Zimmerman says:

    5 stars
    So good. My first time making soda Bread….Very nice

  2. What a welcome variation of “Irish Soda Bread”, since my family & I love the flavor of whole wheat. I’ll plan to make this bread on St. Patrick’s Day, along with our usual (flat cut) “Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage”. I’m not clear on which ‘seeds’ (optional) you are alluding to in this recipe, ….perhaps Fennel or Caraway seeds? Please specify.
    Here’s an Irish Blessing for you & your family: “May the road rise to greet you; May the wind be always at your back. May the rain fall softly upon your fields; the wind blow soft upon your face; and until we meet again, ….may God hold you in the palm of His hand. Have a Blessed St. Patrick’s Day!

  3. your bread rose very high. Looks delicious. I make brown bread very often and your recipie is different to mine so I am going to try it.
    Thank you for posting.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Hope you enjoy it, Deirdre.

  4. Christina@A Soulful Twist says:

    Well I happen to love bread in all it’s forms so I know I’ll enjoy! I love how simple the ingredients are, i’ll have to try this one soon! :)

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I hope you enjoy it, Christina. It’s one of the easiest breads in the world to make.

  5. Well, top o’ the mornin’ to ya.

    I happen to have all of those ingredients handy, and plan to give this a go tonight.

    Miss P

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Try it! The Irish in you (and I *know* you have some) is gonna love it.