Irish Soda Bread {TWD-BWJ}

Although I’ve recently had to cut back on my baking/blogging commitments, I’ve been toying with joining the second round of Tuesdays with Dorie since it was announced. I bought the book Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan a while ago but hadn’t made anything from it yet. So when a group was announced to regularly bake recipes from the book, I was sorely tempted to join. What finally tipped the scales was the fact that there would only be two recipes per month, and members are only required to post one of the two. A once a month commitment fits even my schedule, so I decided to jump in.

The other thing that helped me decide was the second recipe for March: Irish soda bread. I love Irish soda bread and make it regularly, especially around this time of year. In fact, by the time I saw this pick for March 20, I had already made two soda breads: one from a Bob’s Red Mill mix and the other Irish whiskey soda bread from my friend Michele’s blog. I ended up taking these loaves to work, where they were both big hits, so I needed to make another loaf for home for St. Patrick’s Day. What better way to ease into TWD than baking something I was going to make anyway?

This is a very simple recipe. There are only four ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The dry ingredients get whisked together, then the buttermilk is stirred in and the whole thing is formed into a loaf. After slashing the top of the loaf with the traditional cross-shaped pattern, it goes into a 375°F oven for about 50 minutes.

This loaf baked up beautifully and looked like a traditional soda bread. We had already had dinner by the time I made it, so I ate a piece of the bread with butter for an evening snack. It came out a bit dry for my liking. I didn’t check the temperature of the loaf during or after baking, so I’m not sure if it overbaked or if that texture was to be expected. There is almost no fat in the bread, so I’m not surprised it came out kind of dry.

As far as the flavor goes, it was just so-so. The buttermilk gave it a nice tang, but otherwise it was a bit bland. Of the three soda breads I made this week, this came in third in both flavor and texture. Others have reported liking it more than I, so I might try it again sometime. But for now, it’s definitely not a contender to become my go-to soda bread recipe.

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36 Comments

  1. April 3, 2012 at 7:05 am

    […] Tuesdays with Dorie, and I’m happy to report that I liked this recipe a lot better than the Irish soda bread I made a few weeks ago. This recipe is from Nick Malgieri, and it reminded me of a savory version […]

  2. Kayte said,

    March 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Too bad it was just so-so as it looks so beautiful. That butter deal sounds worthy.

  3. Amanda said,

    March 23, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I really liked this recipe but it might be because I have never made soda bread before so I have nothing to compare it to. Maybe it I make some others, this recipe will drop down the list? I will have to try some others too see. Your loaf looks delicious though!

    • gaaarp said,

      March 25, 2012 at 11:32 am

      Thanks. Enough other people liked this recipe that I’m starting to think mine might have been a .dud.

  4. cookingjulia said,

    March 22, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I’m not surprised–I thought it was just “okay” before I made it with sugar and lemon.

    • gaaarp said,

      March 23, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      I’ve never heard of lemon soda bread, but it sounds good!

  5. teaandscones said,

    March 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    And we LOVED this bread. It was so buttery!!

    glad you decided to join the group. Easy to keep up with it.

    BTW bread LOOKs great.

    • gaaarp said,

      March 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Thanks, Margaret. It’s nice to be in a group with easy commitments.

  6. Melanie said,

    March 21, 2012 at 8:18 am

    So glad to have you join us!! We liked this one here, but I did add OJ soaked currants and raisins. I don’t think I would’ve liked it nearly as much w/ no fruit. You sound like a soda bread pro. I’d like to try another recipe next time and your other recipes sound good.

    • gaaarp said,

      March 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      Not a pro by any means; I just like soda bread!

  7. March 21, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Yours looks great! We actually did not like the bread at all. I’ve never made or eaten it before, neither had hubby. http://www.imathomebaking.com

    • gaaarp said,

      March 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      It’s too bad, because I love Irish soda bread, but this one just didn’t do it for me.

  8. March 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I think the additions to the bread would have made it taster.
    I would love to see the other recipes you mention.
    Can you send me the recipes or links?
    my email: bakingismyzen@comcast.net

    ~ Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/twd-baking-with-julia-irish-soda-bread

  9. Treats said,

    March 20, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Your loaf looks great! I’m in agreement with you – I wasn’t in love with this bread either.

  10. March 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I agree that it was a bit on the bland side. I used it to soak up the corned beef juices and the extra thousand island dressing I indulged in. 😉

    • gaaarp said,

      March 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      I bet it was perfect for that!

  11. March 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    It does look really good! Maybe next batch can be a hybrid of the three you tried?

    • gaaarp said,

      March 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      I think a little butter and some currants might do the trick.

  12. Teresa said,

    March 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Glad to see you’ve joined in! We’ve missed you at French Fridays.

    • gaaarp said,

      March 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      Thanks! I keep thinking I’ll do a French Friday recipe or two one of these days, but I just haven’t found the time. I’m not even sure what you all are making these days.

      • Teresa said,

        March 20, 2012 at 8:07 pm

        You might want to try your hand at next week’s cocoa sablés – they’re really good!

  13. Krissy said,

    March 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Yes, agree, nice to see you. Your bread looks lovely and sliced so well. You made a lovely soda bread…looks just as it should.

    • gaaarp said,

      March 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Thanks. Good to be back in action. It was a nice looking loaf, I’ll give it that.

  14. March 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I actually really liked this soda bread. What do you think is different about it than the recipes you prefer?

    • gaaarp said,

      March 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      I think it’s the entire lack of fat (most buttermilk is low fat these days) and the absence of sweetner.

  15. Karen @ SoupAddict said,

    March 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    This is about as plain and quick a loaf as you can get. Like you, it’s not my favorite soda bread recipe … but I did enjoy it. And after the two-day slog of the rugelach, I was all about the easy! 🙂

    • gaaarp said,

      March 20, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      I didn’t make the rugelach, When I decided to join TWD, I thought about making some of the past recipes, but I took one look at the rugelach recipe and decided to look ahead, not behind!

  16. heathersbytes said,

    March 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Your loaf looks great! You’ve got me wanting to experiment with other soda bread recipes now! I liked this one well enough but I’m always up for something different.

    • gaaarp said,

      March 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      I’m going to post the Irish whiskey soda bread with my alterations one of these days. It’s definitely something different. Not a traditional soda bread, but so good!

      • heathersbytes said,

        March 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm

        Oh I can’t wait to see it! I would definitely give that one a shot.

  17. Hornedfroggy said,

    March 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

    So excited to see you again! And I’m glad this recipe fit in perfectly with your schedule – it looks wonderful! 🙂

    • gaaarp said,

      March 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks. It’s good to be back, and I’m glad it’s not too much of a commitment. As much as I loved FFwD, it proved to be just too much.

  18. Abby said,

    March 20, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Yay! I didn’t know you were joining TWD: BwJ, too…so fun! 🙂 Although I’m not sure I’m going to have time to try this recipe today…… The only other time I made soda bread, I wasn’t a fan. Maybe I should try the other one you referenced…would it make a believer of me?

    • gaaarp said,

      March 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      I think either the Irish whiskey soda bread or Bob’s mix would convert you.

  19. Cher said,

    March 20, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Welcome back!
    I thought this was good, but probably not first on my list of things to go run & make again.

    • gaaarp said,

      March 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks, I was starting to think I was the only one who didn’t love this bread.


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