Heritage: the things that define us, that make us up. Heritage is something we are given, which means that, at some point, it must also be something we leave behind us. Heritage dares to ask both, “Who are you?” and “What are you becoming?” Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread is my heritage.
It’s who I am: Irish, complete with the temper, affinity for dark beer, and one of those (maiden) names with an “O’.” It’s representative of who I want to be: whole wheat (a maker of simple choices that make my life better) and best when made with really, really good quality butter (a person who cherishes the best things in life).
If you’ve never had Irish soda bread, it’s similar to a scone but less fussy. The edges are craggy and golden, the flavors earthy and bold. Currants add small pockets of tartness, and caraway seeds give the Irish soda bread a robustness that reminds me that it was probably created by a people more hearty than I—ancestors who lived in the countryside and didn’t complain about taking out the trash.
This is a rugged, no frills bread, and it begs to be slathered in butter or dunked into your stew.
How to Make Easy and Delicious Irish Soda Bread
As if to reinforce its point that it is easy going, Irish soda bread is a breeze to prepare.
- Start by cutting the butter into the flour. (I’m using 100% whole wheat, because this is a rustic bread and I like the nutty flavor, but you could use white whole wheat flour for a milder taste, or even a 50/50 blend of wheat and all-purpose.)
- Next, pour the wet ingredients into the dry, then add the currants + caraway. You’ll still be able to see golden specks of butter, and the dough will be shaggy. It’s sweet, simple, and natural.
- After a few turns on a lightly dusted surface, the whole wheat Irish soda bread is ready to bake. A cast iron skillet gives the maximum “down home” factor, but if you don’t have one, a baking sheet works just fine.
If you’re in the mood for muffins instead, make these Irish Soda Bread Muffins.
What to Serve with Irish Soda Bread
- Stew. This bread is begging to be dipped in a bowl of Crockpot Beef Stew or Instant Pot Beef Stew.
- Sausage. Irish soda bread would be delicious with One Pan Cabbage and Sausage Skillet with Rice.
More St. Patrick’s Day Favorites
- Green Whiskey Smash
- One Pan Cabbage and Sausage Skillet
- Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese
- Healthy Shamrock Shake (Mint Smoothie)
- Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie
Whole wheat Irish soda bread is who I am and what I will probably always be: craggy; imperfect; a little tart, and a little sweet.
This is (a small slice of) my heritage. What’s yours?
Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
- 2 cups whole wheat flour plus additional for kneading
- 1 tablespoon Imperial Sugar Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg white beaten
- 3/4 cup buttermilk plus 2-3 tablespoons
- 1/2 tablespoon molasses
- 2/3 cup dried currants
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
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I’m sharing this recipe in partnership with Imperial Sugar. Thank you for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue providing quality content to you!