This traditional Irish soda bread recipe is extremely easy to make and is wonderful. It is perfect the day you make it but makes delicious toast after that. You are going to need buttermilk to make this as it is required in order to react with the baking soda. This reaction fills this bread with gas which makes it spongy and helps it grow in the oven.
This is a no knead bread that does not need to rise. As mentioned it will rise as it cooks. It is important that you treat it with care and not squeeze the gasses out of it. It is also important that you have the oven preheated and your baking sheet or pan ready to go as soon as your bread is finished.
The final result is a nicely browned loaf of bread with a hard crust and a tender interior that tastes a little like sourdough. Delicious.
This is what you need to make this delicious traditional Irish soda bread:
Makes 1 large loaf
4 cups (512 grams) sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
1 tsp. (5 ml) baking soda
1½ to 2 cups (420 to 480 grams) buttermilk
Heat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 C) and prepare a cast iron pan or a baking sheet by lightly greasing and adding some flour.
Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk together until well mixed.
Form a well in the middle and add the buttermilk. Start with 1½ cups and add more as needed – a ¼ cup at a time.
Mix the buttermilk into the flour with a fork and then softly put it together with your hands. Do not knead this bread, as you will release all the gases.
Dump the dough onto a floured board and form it into a ball. Carefully transfer onto the sheet or pan you are using.
Cut an X on top of the bread with a sharp knife – about 1/4th inch deep (1 cm).
Place the bread in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Your bread will be done when it is browned and sounds hollow when you tap it.
Let the bread cool down and slice it. This bread is at its best the day you bake it but make delicious toast after that. Enjoy!