Irish Soda Bread - The Chef's Cooking School

Irish Soda Bread

Ah the time of year that I remember those things of St. Patrick's day that I treasure so much.  In this case it would be the the crispy texture of a wedge of Irish Soda Bread basted with butter and grilled in a skillet or on a grill.  The warm interior biscuit/scone texture with savory flavor enhanced by currants or raisins and caraway seeds.  Yes, St. Patrick's day and Irish Soda Bread.

Can You Make Irish Soda Bread Without Eggs?

I was walking along on a college campus one day, of course I was wearing a chef coat I was traveling in between two kitchens I was managing. I had a student approach me in March, a vegan I knew from their attendance at the main dining hall, "Can you make Irish soda bread without Eggs" she said. I paused for a moment to reflect my Irish Soda Bread Experience. Why yes, yes you can make it without eggs. The eggs act as a leavener for the Irish Soda Bread. Are they necessary, they provide a richness and leavening to the biscuit/scone texture?

You can make the Irish Soda Bread without Eggs, actually a truer version of the classic Irish Bread.  The difference is made up with baking soda and baking powder, baking powder primarily.  You can certainly make Irish soda bread without Eggs, this recipe has not eggs in it. 

Irish Soda bread is less like a cake and more like a biscuit or scone.  These are more of a quick bread, that don’t use yeast.  They are risen with baking powder and baking soda, which provides the leavening.  This may seem unusual to make this type of semi sweet bread with not eggs, however it is important to understand that this is a quick bread that proves you can make an Irish Soda Bread without eggs.  This recipe doesn't incorporate eggs in it,  you  can be the judge!

What Is The Purpose Of Buttermilk In Irish Soda Bread?

Buttermilk is the byproduct of making butter from cream.  So just what is the purpose of buttermilk in Irish soda bread?  A rich sour flavor that sometimes is consumed as a beverage, this is what buttermilk represents.  Buttermilk is often used to enhance the flavor of onion rings as a pre-marinade to the breading procedure.  It is used as a marinade before making fried chicken. 

Buttermilk is a flavoring that also makes something richer. The butter fat present adds a richness that is distinct.  The richness is distinct because it is followed by a sourness.   So, this would be an example of contrasting flavors that our taste buds seem to enjoy.  Sweet and Salty, Sweet and sour, this is along the lines of a sweet and sour, richness from the cream and the sourness of buttermilk's distinct flavor.

So, what is the purpose of buttermilk in Irish Soda Bread.  The purpose is that it provides a richness and a sourness.  Flavors that compliment many things through the flavor profiles that they compliment.  Enriching the bread with the butterfat content and the addition of the subtle sourness that is distinct with the addition of buttermilk.

The conversation leads us to ask the question, what can I do with buttermilk.  This will lead you to onion rings, and fried chicken.  There are a number of shortbreads that this will enhance like hush puppies, and tea breads.  So if rich and sour is a flavor you have a desire for then you should consider buttermilk in your cooking.  Here you should consider Irish Soda Bread with Buttermilk as a resource to determine if you like this flavor.

Irish Soda Bread For St. Patrick's Day

So, what is it with Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day? St. Patrick’s Day comes once a year and chants the phrase Erin Go Brach, which is the Irish call to allegiance to the motherland.  In much of the world the origins of bread are less like bread than it is a biscuit. 

There origins of bread likely came about because yeast was lacking.  The only yeast that was available wasn’t pick up in packets in the grocery store, the yeast was wild.  This meant that to obtain yeast they had to catch it.  It is likely that alcohol (wine/grog) was added to flour mixtures that provided some of this leavening. 

Bannock is the word the Scottish and English use for a biscuit type bread that they eat across the pond.  So why Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day, likely because this was a premium bread treat that was reserved for special occasions.  So this would make a lot of sense that they would use on this great celebration of the honoring of the motherland. 

St. Patrick’s Day is the calling of the Irish, this began as an American calling to all Irish to thank them for being here and to acknowledge their presence.  For the Irish it became a gathering of a common cause, united under the mother country.

An Easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Irish soda bread, an easy recipe, brought here for you to make and enjoy some cultural traditions that the Irish rally around.  Beer seems to be the biggest tradition they rally around, however, this rally is more of a year-round rally. 

The Irish are known for their beer drinking, they seem to have a gene that calls for beer. However, the big difference between St. Patrick’s Day and the rest of the year is that the foods that are eaten on St. Patrick’s day aren’t eaten extensively during the remainder of the year.

Maybe it is because of this extensive beer drinking that the recipe for an easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe is here.  Really the recipe is an easy one, there aren’t a lot of ingredients or instructions.  The bread bakes at 350 and can be frozen once complete. 

Among other dishes like Colcannon, Bangers and sausage, shepherds pie, and corned beef and cabbage are all tasty Irish dishes. They are all complimented by a bread or roll.  So here is where In this case an easy recipe for Irish Soda Bread.  So come taste and see what we have in store for you.

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Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread is among the complements to a Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
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Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 565kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 ¾ cups Flour
  • 1 cup Raisins or Currants
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 4 tsp. Baking powder
  • 2 tsp. Caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ cup Butter cut up
  • 1 1/3 cups Buttermilk

Instructions

  • Preheat Oven to 350 F. Spray cookie sheet or using baking paper.
  • Combine all dry ingredients.
  • Chop butter into dry ingredients, use a pastry blender, add buttermilk, should be somewhat sticky. Form 6-8 inch round on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 40 – 60 minutes or until golden and firm crust, tap to here if hollow sound. Cool, cut into wedges
Nutrition Facts
Irish Soda Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 565 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 633mg 26%
Potassium 709mg 20%
Total Carbohydrates 91g 30%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 11g
Protein 10g 20%
Vitamin A 11.2%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 23.8%
Iron 26.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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