Soda bread is a classic component in Irish cuisine. It is also noticeably present in American bakeries, especially around St. Patrick's day when many families eat Irish and Irish-American foods to celebrate their heritage.
Soda bread is what is known as a quick-bread. This means that it uses chemical leavening to produce the bubbles inside the bread (as opposed to yeast). This does make it a quick recipe. A loaf can be made and baked in under an hour, ready to bring over to a friend's house for dinner.
American soda bread tends to be more cake-like. It is often heavily sweetened and light and airy, I have even seen recipes for soda bread that call for cake flour. I say no! No to this cake in bread's clothing! This recipe makes a delicious, not too rich, bread.
Enjoy it as a great side to your St. Patrick's Day dinner, or anytime.
Update: The terminology seems to vary concerning this kind of bread. Some people have described this as bannock instead of soda bread, while others have shown me bannock and it is a different item. Some have noted that this must be an American version, but it is nearly identical to an Irish recipe I was given. It's quite the example of the diversity of the English language.
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
Assemble together your ingredients and tools. While you are at it preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 220 degrees Celsius.
Here are the ingredients used in the soda bread:
2 Cups White Flour
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
3 Tablespoons of Butter
1& 3/4 Cups Cultured Buttermilk
Optional Ingredients -Add any of these if you want a twist on your soda bread.
2 teaspoons Caraway Seeds
1 Cup Raisins
1 Tbsp Sugar (if you like a sweeter bread)
Dry Measuring Cup
Liquid Measuring Cup
Pastry Blender (optional)