Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TWD: Irish Soda Bread

Contributing Baker: Marion Cunningham


                                          Irish Soda Bread

This week I am co-host of Tuesdays with Dorie along with Carla of Chocolate Moosey. One of the privileges of hosting is Carla & I get to post the recipe on our blogs. With such an easy recipe I was worried I would not have much to say ~ surprise!

The book states that this bread does not last past the day it is made. I whipped this up after getting home from a 12 mile hike; this is so easy you can whip it up quickly (only 4 ingredients!) and toss it into the oven to bake while you prepare dinner, and have fresh warm bread to go along with. This is also the perfect recipe if you have young kids around and want to boost there confidence in the kitchen.

I took an un-traditional route and added approximately 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese to the batter and after forming the ball and cutting an X into the top I sprinkled more cheese on top. The finished product resembled in flavor a biscuit and with the added cheese it was so good it was hard to stop eating, even though this bread is heavy and dense and fills you up quickly.

Being that there is only two of us, we were unable to eat the whole loaf though we had no problem devouring half of it. I tossed the other half into the freezer which I took out the very next day since the weather turned cold and I made chicken noodle soup for dinner. Dipping the bread into the broth made it taste like a dumpling ~ and I love dumplings.

I had half of a loaf plus two slices in the bag from the freezer. The slices I wrapped in a paper towel and put into the microwave for about 10-15 seconds and wrapped the rest in foil and heated it in a 375°F oven till warm. The bread tasted fine, as it did the following day sitting on the counter in a Ziploc bag - just a bit drier texture. I toasted up a slice to go with my morning coffee and it was delicious, better in fact! Toasted, this would be really good with scrambled eggs and a great canvas for leftover lekvar for those of you that made it from our previous recipe of rugelach.

There is something to be said about making your own bread; even the more time consuming yeast breads. The aroma while baking, and the warm, tasty goodness of fresh bread from the oven puts you in a state of overwhelming bliss.


Success meter (1-3): 3







The broth soaking into the bread gives it a dumpling like flavor.

Makes wonderful toast even three days later!
Crunchy outside ~ soft and chewy on the inside.

Do make sure to check out Carla's site for her experience with this bread and take a peek at the other bakers of our group; it just may inspire you to purchase a copy of Baking with Julia and bake along with us.


Irish Soda Bread
Makes one 8-inch round loaf

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk

Optional additions: add a cup of raisins, currants, or diced dried fruits to the dough.


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8-inch glass pie plate or baking sheet; set aside.

Mixing and Kneading: Put the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a fork to blend. Add the buttermilk and stir vigorously until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently for a minute. The dough will be soft and malleable, but, tantalizing as it is, it should not be overworked. Pat the dough into a disk about 6 inches across, slash an X across the top, cutting it about ½-inch deep, and place the dough in the greased pan (it won’t tough the sides of the pan – that’s OK) or on the baking sheet.

Baking the Bread: Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the slash has widened and the bread is golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, then slice or wrap in a moist towel until ready to serve. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Storing: The bread can be kept for a few hours, wrapped and at room temperature, but by the end of the day, with just the wee bit of fat that’s in the buttermilk, it will turn as hard as the Blarney Stone.



Baking with Julia/Dorie Greenspan
Contributing Baker: Marion Cunningham

57 comments:

  1. You posted early!! I loved the bread too, yours looks perfect!

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  2. Thank you for hosting this week! Can't wait to start checking out everyone's results tomorrow.
    I loved how simple this recipe was (especially since so many others aren't...)

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  3. Your bread looks like the real deal. Congratulations! Mine was a disaster.

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  4. Your bread looks great! I definitely will try the "cheesy" version of it.
    I've made one with cranberries, one with raisins, chocolate chips and natural vanilla extract, one with cinnamon and raisins...
    Once you taste it, once you see how easy it is to make: you just can't stop!
    I love it!!!

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  5. Thanks for hosting this week. The recipe is simple, but it isn't as bad as I expected.

    Ulrike @Küchenlatein

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  6. I love the idea of making this more savory by adding the cheese. Your photos are wonderful and your bread looks perfect. Thank you for hosting!

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  7. Thanks for hosting! Love your savory version of this bread! It looks wonderfully delicious!

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  8. I love that you added gruyere. It looks yummy.

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  9. Gruyere cheese is a fav. of mine! Great idea to add it to this wonderful bread! Thank you for hosting this week, I love our BWJ group:)

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  10. Wow - this soda bread looks wonderful. Love the idea of adding the cheese! I've only ever made authentic Brown Irish Soda bread but will have to give this one a try. Your pictures are terrific BTW.

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  11. Ah...the gruyere was a nice touch! Looks delicious. Very nice!

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  12. That looks so delicious with the cheese! This bread is so versatile, we loved it! Thanks for hosting.

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  13. Yum!! I love Gruyere cheese. I bet that was a fantastic add in! :) Thanks for hosting this week!

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  14. The gruyere sounds delicious! Makes me want to make another batch this morning. :)

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  15. Yum, Gruyère! What a great idea. Thanks for hosting!

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  16. The gruyere sounds delicious - especially for dunking in soup!! Well done, and thanks for hosting!

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  17. Nice job! I found the recipe a bit plain. I may have to try it again--this time with cheese. Thanks for hosting!

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    1. I made another loaf just the other day and I too thought it was very plain. I was so looking forward to having great tasting toast with my coffee in the morning. This time it did nothing for me. The cheese really added a lot.

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  18. Cheese was such a great idea for this recipe. Thank you for hosting!

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  19. Thanks for hosting! The next time I make this, I'll have to add cheese. It sounds so delicious. :)

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  20. The addition of gruyere is enticing! I'll have to try that next time :D

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  21. Adding cheese- a brilliant idea- doesn't it make everything even more delicious?
    Muchas gracias for being one of our host this time!

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  22. What a wonderful idea to add cheese, I'll have to try it too!!

    Thanks for hosting!

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  23. Ooooh, I really love gruyere cheese in anything baked. The bread must have been really satisfying after that long hike! I froze the other half of ours as well. Now, I just have to sit back and pray for some colder, soup weather so I can pull it out of the freezer:)

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  24. Savory... I would have never gone that way with this bread but why not? I love the gruyere idea and will have to make it soon! Thanks!

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  25. Your bread and soup both look excellent. Thanks for the ideas about what to do with leftover bread - I have a bunch in my freezer too.

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  26. Your Bread looks Lovely ... !!! Great job !!!! I never thought baking a bread can get that easy !!!

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  27. Thanks for hosting, this bread was SO good, and SO easy, which worries me, as I am trying to watch all the carbs!! :-)

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    1. I know! It's crazy for me to have joined this baking group right after stopping my workouts with a trainer!

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  28. The gruyere looks like such a great addition! I love cheese - why didn't I think of that! HEHE It was fun baking along with you this time around...

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  29. Thanks for hosting.. Gruyere in the bread sounds delicious, I need to try it sometime soon.. I did a raisin version and ate it with leftover apricot lekvar and butter, it was heavenly..

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  30. Cathy, your addition is fabulous. Cheese always makes bread better.

    Thank you for hosting this week! Beautiful post.

    ~ Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/twd-baking-with-julia-irish-soda-bread

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  31. The cheese idea makes me want to make the bread again. ...soon! Thanks for hosting.

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  32. Ooh, the Gruyere addition sounds delicious. Great idea!

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  33. Adding cheese was a fabulous idea!!! Yours looks wonderful! Thanks for hosting.

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  34. All shaggy breads are better with cheese!

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  35. I can't believe I didn't think to add cheese to my bread. My first instinct is always to add cheese! This looks amazing! Thanks for hosting!

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  36. Thanks for hosting this week! I love your idea of adding Gruyere. I definitely will try that since I have a feeling this bread will be made quite often.

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  37. Thank you for hosting, your bread looks beautiful and I was happy to link to your blog! See you in a couple weeks! Catherine at www.praycookblog.com

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  38. Thanks for hosting. I definitely want to try this again with cheese. Glad I got to see your results.

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  39. Yum, looks delish! Thanks for hosting. :)

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  40. Thanks for hosting. You baked beautiful bread...love the cheesy top.

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  41. This looks delicious! Bread of any kind makes my mouth water

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  42. Oh my gosh, the cheese sounds like the best add-in ever! I cannot wait to try it again with shredded sharp cheddar. Thanks for the idea!

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  43. Thanks for hosting- this was great. I tried it toasted on the second day and thought it was fab!

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  44. Thanks for hosting. This is my first time participating with the group and I had such a good time. Your idea of adding the cheese was great and I will definitely be using that the next time I make this bread...especially since I just happen to have some Irish cheddar sitting in my fridge right now!

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    1. Me too. And welcome! Irish cheddar sounds wonderful.

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  45. Thanks for hosting this week. I agree with you, making bread is always worth the effort and with this bread, there's hardly any effort at all. I think it was the right call to add cheese to this - sounds heavenly!

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  46. Perfect pick for this week - thanks so much! It was just what I needed - simplicity! :) Plus, anything tastes better with cheese - nicely done!

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  47. Thanks for co-hosting this week for this great bread. I love that you added cheese to it. What a great flavor it added to an already tasty buttery bread.

    And mine is still good today.

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  48. The cheese was a great idea. I'm going to try that next time! Thanks for hosting - great job.

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  49. thanks for hosting! i really enjoyed this one, esp how quick it was. great idea to do cheese! i have to try savory next time

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  50. mmm...cheese bread! sounds great. i thought this loaf lasted pretty well. i just pulled my last bit from the freezer this morning for toast with jam. thanks for hosting!

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  51. Thank you everyone!! I did just make another loaf as the recipe instructed. I felt it was rather bland and was disappointed. The cheese really made a difference.

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  52. Who does not like cheese in their bread??!! Wonderful pairing, and great pictures! Thanks for hosting.

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  53. I came across this posting yesterday, and while normally I just store a recipe and rarely ever go back to make it (its more like collecting stamps rather than a to-do list with me) this recipe seemed so quick and easy I blogged about it today and linked you back in my post.
    You can find it here:
    http://thegentlebaker.blogspot.com/2012/05/rustic-irish-soda-bread.html

    Thank you for sharing your results!

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