Irish Soda Bread

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Have you ever tried Irish soda bread? It’s usually found in stores and bakeries around St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s bread of convenience other times of the year. It originated way back in… no surprise, Ireland. Years ago when times were tough, you had to make do with what you had and that often didn’t include luxuries like yeast or even electricity or gas to run an oven.

They turned to the combination of buttermilk, baking soda, and baking powder to make a dough of whole grain flour rise. They also formed it into a round loaf and baked it in a cast iron skillet instead of a loaf pan in the oven. Pretty cool creativity there! When I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to put effort or time into a yeast based bread, I make a quick loaf of Irish soda bread.

Of course, I use my oven and I just plop the dough onto a cookie sheet and shape it into a free form round loaf. No cast iron skillet needed, although you could use one if you wanted to. No yeast or waiting for the bread to rise, and you get the whole grain benefits from the flour.

Irish Soda BreadIrish Soda Bread

  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cups (360g) white wheat flour
  • 1 tsp (4g) sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (40g) raisins

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with foil. Spray the foil lightly with non-stick spray. Mix the almond milk with the vinegar and set aside for about 5 minutes. Add the oil and the dry ingredients to a large bowl, and mix slightly to combine.

Pour in the almond milk mixture and mix with a spoon until the dough starts to form a stiff dough. It will come together in to a wet, round shape. Add the raisins and mix gently to distribute the raisins.

Form the dough into a large ball and place on the oiled cookie sheet. Press down slightly to form a flat, round loaf. Cut an X into the top, if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.

Makes 12 servings at approximately 138 calories each – 4g protein, 26g carbs, and 2g fat.

Slices of the bread are great spread with a little butter after cooling a little bit. You can also use it to make cinnamon toast or French toast for breakfast. I can even vouch that they make a great sweet and savory sandwich at lunchtime or croutons for your salad. The best part is that you can decide pretty much last minute that you want to make a loaf, and you usually have the ingredients on hand.

No trip to the grocery store required.

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