This traditional Irish Soda Bread is the perfect way to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Once you make it, you bless the bread with a knife to ward off the devil and bless the household. Poke holes in the corners of the dough to release the fairies!
Watch Gemma make this on Chicago’s WCIU.
- 1.75 cups whole wheat flour (fine or coarsely ground)
- 1.75 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp butter, cold
- 1 egg
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 tbsp oats
- butter and jam for spreading
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (215°C).
- Mix together the flours, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs.
- In a separate jug, whisk the egg and buttermilk together (see note on how to make Buttermilk below)
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid into the flour mixture.
- Using an open hand bring the flour and liquid together to a loose dough. The dough should be quite soft, but not too sticky.
- Turn onto a floured work surface and gently bring the dough together into a round about 1½ inches (4cm) thick (8 inches by 8 inches) .
- Place on a baking sheet dusted well with flour
- Score the bread by blessing it with a deep cross on top. Poke a hole in the 4 corners of the bread to release the fairies and stop them from cursing your beautiful bread.
- Glaze the bread with the leftover bit of buttermilk in your jug and dust the top with rolled oats.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake for 30 minutes more. When done, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.