Once upon a time, I made soda bread quite a bit. It was back when I found real yeast bread quite daunting, and so often stuck to quick breads. But I realized recently that it had been probably 5 years at least, possibly more, since I’d made it at all. I was in the mood for a really hearty bread slathered with rich butter and jam, and so decided to go back to basics with a true whole wheat traditional Irish soda bread.
Now, there are a LOT of soda bread recipes out there, many of which are amazing. But to be a traditional Irish soda bread, it should have JUST 4 ingredients—flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Anything else, and it’s not the traditional kind (apparently, anything else makes it a tea cake…). The beauty of this type of recipe is that you can be struck with a craving for fresh bread, and be sitting in front of a steaming slice of it in under and hour. Here’s to instant gratification.
I have a bunch of different takes on soda bread that I want to try, but figured we’d start super pure and simple. One important note, this recipe just makes one small-ish loaf (that still feeds plenty of people)…most recipes make two large loaves, which is way too much for little ol’ me. Hence, the “small-batch” moniker in the recipe title.
My first experience with soda bread was on a trip to Ireland several years ago, where we were spoiled every morning at our B&Bs with freshly made soda bread and homemade jam. While I don’t typically love super crusty breads, I fell in love with this basic and delicious traditional food.