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Irish Soda Bread

I want to be Irish.

For my entire life, people have asked me if my red hair and freckled cheeks come from Irish genes.  Each time I sigh and sadly answer, ‘no’.

Just as some folks dream of tropical beach vacations, I dream of flying across the ocean to the rolling, green hills of Ireland.  I want to visit a pub in the bustle of Dublin and photograph the pastures of their rural landscape. I watch movies like ‘Leap Year’ or ‘PS, I Love You’ more for the movies’ backdrops than their story lines.

irish soda bread

Since I am not Irish and my plane tickets have yet to be bought I will instead make the most of the coming St. Patrick’s Day.  Starting by baking this very easy Irish Soda Bread.  And by easy I mean easy.  Bread baking is a bit of a challenge for me and I pulled this one off without a hitch.  It contains no yeast, the baking soda and yogurt create the rising action perfectly.

Irish Soda Bread 

from Williams-Sonoma

2 1/4 cups bread flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup wheat bran (or wheat germ)

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (greek yogurt works too)

Preheat an oven to 425°F. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat.In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, bran, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the yogurt and stir to blend, forming a rough ball. The dough will start rising as soon as the baking soda comes in contact with the yogurt, so work quickly to form the dough.
irish soda bread
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently for about 30 seconds. The dough should feel soft to the touch. Dust a clean work surface with flour and set the ball of dough on it. Flatten slightly into a 7-inch dome and sprinkle with flour, spreading the flour lightly over the surface. Using a sharp knife, cut a shallow X in the loaf from one side to the other. Transfer the loaf to the preheated baking sheet.
irish soda bread
Bake until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm. Any leftover bread can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Makes 1 loaf.

About Alison


Alison Bickel lives in the heart of the Midwest where, along with her husband, they raise their three boys. Whether it’s in the garden, the kitchen or tagging along on her boys’ latest adventure she looks for the simple beauty in everyday from behind her lens. The photography bug bit her in sixth grade, upon getting her first camera, a Kodak Disk. She has been chasing light and subjects ever since. On her blog, ‘This Homemade Life,’ Alison shares tales of mothering, her passion for vegetarian cooking and obsession with farmer’s markets. You may email Alison at alison@alisonbickel.com.

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  • Exterminator Brooklyn nyc

    Thanks. I got a new recipe for my next weekend. Hope I’m able to make as delicious as yours.

  • http://jennyrebecca.typepad.com/ Jenny Rebecca

    Thank you so much for posting this!!! It was truly delicious and so easy!!!

  • http://www.kellierogers.blogspot.com/ Kellie

    pretty sure this will be made this weekend… i am a little irish (but not as much as i’d like to be LOL… i, too, have irish envy )