American Irish Soda Bread for #TwelveLoaves

by Renee on March 1, 2013

American Irish Soda Bread | Magnolia Days

March has finally arrived! Yes! Yippee! Can you tell I get excited about March? It’s because it means springtime. Spring is my favorite season of all. I love to watch the landscape turn green and blossom with new growth. I am so tired of the dull grey of winter. It also because of Easter and St. Patrick’s day celebrations. I celebrate with food for sure. I’m celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with American Irish Soda Bread.

Easter has a lot of food associated with it. There is all the typical Easter dinner fare. However, I get most excited over two things: Cadbury mini eggs and caramel eggs. I smiled typing those words. Seriously. Now if only the Nestle would bring back their Nestle Crunch caramel eggs then I would be in paradise. Why, oh why, did they stop making those delightful eggs? Maybe I will see them again one day.

Anyway, back to the American Irish Soda Bread. The Twelve Loaves challenge this month is to bake a bread for a March holiday or celebration. I’ve heard about Irish soda bread but never actually tasted it. I went looking for recipes and ran across one for an Americanized version that is a little sweeter. Plus it calls for dried currants and I adore them. One of my favorite currant recipes is Buttermilk Currant Scones. I decided to start with the American Irish version and save baking a regular one for another day.

This bread is one I will make again and again. First it is quick and easy. So quick you need to be sure you have the oven ready and preheated before you start mixing ingredients together. I strongly suggest putting a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack to catch drips or spill-over. The bread itself is light, a little sweet, and has a crunchy sugar top. I ate my slice from the bottom up so I could enjoy the crunchy top for the last few bites. Warming up a slice for a few seconds in the microwave and then spreading butter on it is a good thing too.

How about more bread recipes for March? The Twelve Loaves bakers have some great ones to share:

#TwelveLoaves March: Holiday Bread. Bake a bread, yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual. This #TwelveLoaves is all about the incredible holiday breads featured in March. Do you have a favorite Easter, Passover, or St. Patrick’s Day Bread? We would love to see it. Let’s get baking!

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Want to join the #TwelveLoaves group? It’s easy!

  1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!
  2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
  3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this March, 2013 posted on your blog by March 31, 2013.

Happy Bread Baking!

American Irish Soda Bread

1 hour, 15 minutes

Makes 1 loaf

American Irish Soda Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half or milk
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the lowest rack of the oven to catch any drips or spill-over while baking. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9- X 5-inch loaf pan. Set pan aside.

In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Whisk to combine. Add the dried currants and whisk to combine.

In a medium bowl, add the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter. Whisk to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and quickly stir together until just combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Use your finger to press down the batter about 1/2-inch from the sides to make a "moat". Press a few times in the center. Drizzle the milk over the batter. Sprinkle top with turbinado sugar.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool bread in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove bread from the pan and cool completely on a rack. Slice and enjoy! Store leftovers in plastic wrap or a sealed container at room temperature.

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Recipe adapted from one on the King Arthur Flour website.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen March 1, 2013 at 5:29 am

I love this bread, it´s so easy and wonderful. I baked it last year for a group, and it came out tasting too much of baking soda, even though the amount was average. So I LOVE your version with some baking powder too! I will adopt this recipe right now, it´s the perfect compromise. Gorgeous bread Renee!

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Renee March 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I could see how a regular soda bread could wind up tasting a little too baking soda-y. It’s another reason I chose this bread. Plus my love of currants.

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Liz March 1, 2013 at 6:47 am

Oh, how I love soda bread! My Irish girl friend makes hers using a coffee cup to measure…I don’t think I’ll ever be able to replicate her recipe! But now I have yours!!! Beautiful, Renee!

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Renee March 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I know what you mean by the strange measuring devices. It’s the reason I haven’t posted a recipe for biscuits yet. When I make them I use spoonfuls and that would not be good at all. Too many different sizes of spoons and, in your case, coffee cups.

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Sherron@SimplyGourmet March 1, 2013 at 7:54 am

I love the speckled look with the currants. I have made a gluten free version before but never with the addition of anything, I will have to give this a try next time.

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Renee March 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Those little currants are so nice. I’m thinking dried blueberries would be good too. Sometimes raisins can be a little big (texture wise) if you know what I mean.

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Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious March 1, 2013 at 9:36 am

Mmmmm….that looks GOOD!

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Renee March 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Thanks Dorothy!

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Lora @cakeduchess March 1, 2013 at 10:47 am

I always look forward to your incredible flower photos. I bet you are happy winter is almost over. Your soda bread looks so good, Renee. I’ve always wanted to bake one and will try this recipe. Thank you for being a part of #TwelveLoaves.xx

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Renee March 2, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Thank you Lora! I haven’t posted many flower photos lately. It’s a good thing spring is coming soon.

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Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom March 1, 2013 at 10:57 am

Renee,
I’m with you! I LOVE Spring! I can’t believe it’s almost here! I have never tried Irish Soda bread if you can believe that. . I don’t know why. . now that I have this recipe, I will definitely try it! It is just gorgeous!
I always bake a banana bread to give away to people, but this month, I will bake this! Thank you!

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Renee March 2, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Thanks Alice! Spring can’t come fast enough for me. And I’m sure your friends would really enjoy getting this bread.

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Anita at Hungry Couple March 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

Yum. I love soda bread. I made some last year and loved it. Time to make it again! :)

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Renee March 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Thanks Anita!

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Holly March 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm

I can’t remember making soda bread before and will give it a try. I smiled at your cadbury comments– did you see how early they arrived in the stores this year? They are a hit at my house too so I bought a bunch! Happy March- I share your sentiments, spring is on its way!

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Renee March 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Yes, I sure did notice how early the Easter candy arrived at the stores. I’m already thinking up recipes to use them with as an excuse to buy them.

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Katherine G March 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm

This looks so delicious!!!

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Renee March 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Thanks Katherine!

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a farmer in the dell March 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I love how easy and delicious this bread is! and Yay for March!!!

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Renee March 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Oh yes – Yay for March!!

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Lyn @LovelyPantry March 1, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I’ve only made Irish Soda bread once and we enjoyed it. This looks so lovely! I will have to try your versions using currants (I have a tendency to use raisins all the time).

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Renee March 2, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Thanks Lyn! I do like raisins but for some reason I use the other dried fruits first. Currants are at the top. I love how little they are yet pack a lot of flavor.

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Laura March 1, 2013 at 8:50 pm

That is a gorgeous loaf! And I much prefer American style soda bread. :) Sweet tooth, you know. Also, Easter candy kicks butt over Halloween candy any day of the week.

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Renee March 2, 2013 at 2:22 pm

So true that Easter candy kicks butt over Halloween candy. Easter candy is different and special and not just smaller versions of regular candy.

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Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction March 19, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Your Irish Soda Bread looks lovely. This is my first time posting to #TwelveLoaves. Hopefully I’ll be able to participate going forward.
Annamaria

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