Millions of people around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with parades and parties, some will even create a DIY centerpiece for the dining room or kitchen table. For example, if you travel to Chicago, you can see the Chicago River dyed green between Columbus and Wacker Drives. The coloring only lasts for five hours, so make sure you arrive early to see it. Other ways to celebrate the “lucky” holiday is to make Irish soda bread, an international favorite. At Improvements, we’re showing you how to make it with an easy recipe. You and your family will love it!
How To Make Soda Bread
Soda Bread Ingredients
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for raisins
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup dried raisins
Soda Bread Bakeware
- Baking sheet
- Mixing bowl and utensils
- Mixer (can be made by hand)
Soda Bread Directions
- Preheat oven to 375-degrees Fahrenheit and line a sheet pan with parchment.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Add butter and mix on low until combined.
- With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup.
- With a mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.
- Combine raisins with 1 tablespoon of flour, and mix into the dough—dough will be very wet.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times, ending with a round loaf.
- Place loaf on a prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the to top with a serrated knife.
- Bake 45-55 min, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
- Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm with butter or marmalade.
Surprise Your Family with Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day
Believe it or not, soda bread hasn’t been around for thousands of years. The traditional recipe was introduced to Ireland around the 1840s when bicarbonate soda was introduced. However, each region in Ireland makes soda bread differently. For instance, in the Southern regions, the dough is round and marked with a cross on top. In the North, the dough is flattened into a round shape, divided into four equal parts, shaped into a triangle, and cooked on a flat griddle. This method cooks the bread quicker.
Today, you can find soda bread in bakeries, cafés, and supermarkets, but there’s nothing like homemade. The traditional way to eat it is to break off a section, split it open, and spread butter on it. Finally, make a loaf or two of soda bread because you can serve it with a meal or share it with unexpected guests when they visit.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!