There’s so much hoopla around St. Paddy’s…I don’t get it.
It’s probably because I don’t drink beer (unless I’m cutting the grass…long story…nvm). But, nonetheless, there are plenty of things to love about St. Paddy’s Day besides beer.
One of them is Irish soda bread. I’m not even sure if it’s really synonymous with the holiday but it’s bread. And it’s fast. And it’s terrific.
So, good enough reason, right?
I’ve made a few different versions before but they all seem to be, you know, bleh.
You know, bleh? Really good as it comes out of the oven but dry and crumbly the next day. Maybe it’s just the recipes I tried but nothing ever resonated with me.
So, I’m sorry to all of the Irish soda bread aficionados out there, but this recipe is a keeper! It comes together quick and is baked in a cast iron skillet…lookie here:
You can also split the dough into two and bake it off in two loaf pans (it takes about 45 minutes for the loaf pans!)
Less like a loaf and more like a quick bread, it is soft, a touch sweet and makes the best toast ever!!
And, if it makes good toast, it for sure makes good sandwiches!!!
- 2 tbsp butter, olive oil or lard
- 3½ cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ c sugar
- ⅓ cup sunflower seeds, plus extra for the topping (optional)
- 1¾ cup buttermilk (see note for substitution)
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 tbsp melted butter (or you can substitute olive oil)
- Salt and pepper
- Dried herbs of your choice
- Note: if you don't have buttermilk, make some by putting 2 tbsp white vinegar in the bottom of a 2 cup measure and add enough milk to bring it up to 1¾ cup; stir, wait 5 minutes and you now have buttermilk!!
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Take out a cast iron skillet (you can use a regular 8" x 8" baking dish or split the dough and bake it in two loaf pans lined with parchment) but cast iron will give you a beautiful crust) and rub in the 2 tbsp butter/oil/lard all over the bottom and up the sides
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar (and seeds if you're using them); set aside.
- In a 2 cup measure, add buttermilk and add the 2 eggs and melted butter/olive oil; stir well
- Pour buttermilk mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined (the less you stir, the better texture you will get in your loaf).
- Pour the mixture into the skillet and kind of mound it up in the centre and sprinkle the top with salt and pepper, additional herbs and seeds if you are using them.
- Bake for 50 minutes (45 if you are using two loaf pans!) and remove from the oven.
- Serve immediately!!