I just can’t seem to miss an opportunity to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day to the fullest. Last year it was Bailey’s Irish Cream in the macarons. This year: Irish soda bread. The real story, the five-ingredient recipe (yes, it’s as simple as it sounds), and two ways to get more Guinness down the hatch… as if we needed an excuse…
You see, Irish soda bread is a great staple in and of itself, and the authentic version is a bare bones bread with just a few ingredients, namely baking soda. I found a great interview about its origin with well-known Irish chef Rory O’Connell on Epicurious. A fun read for food nerds or Irish nerds or both.
As for the bread, it mixes and bakes up in less than an hour, and can be a great way to start the day. Earthy from whole wheat flour and tangy from buttermilk, this traditional leprechaun favorite pairs wonderfully with a sunrise and an
But if you want to up the celebration factor, you can schmear some Guinness butter on the warm steamy loaves. The darker the butter, the better the beer flavor…
And if you want to go gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow-crazy this St. Paddy’s day, make the Guinness butter (recipe below), and pour the extra beer glaze over the loaves when they’re hot out of the oven. OR….
Dip and bite,
drink and bite. Especially if you’re the cook. Or if you’re Irish. Or if you’re awake on St. Paddy’s Day. It is a Monday, after all. And Los Angeles just shook like one big, dancing shamrock!
- Irish Soda Bread
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk (or enough to moisten dough)
- Guinness Butter
- 1 12-oz bottle Guinness
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- Two pinches of kosher salt (1 pinch of table salt)
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Combine all dry ingredients for bread in a large bowl. Pour in buttermilk, and mix with a wooden spoon until large lumps form. Add more buttermilk as needed to form a moist, but not sticky dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently just until the bread comes together.
- For one large loaf, shape into a 2-inch high round, or divide the dough into four mini-loaves. Score dough with an inch-deep cross.
- Bake loaves on a parchment-lined, lightly floured sheet pan until golden brown, and the loaves sound hollow when you tap the bottoms. This will be 15-25 minutes for individual loaves, about 30 minutes for one large loaf.
- Combine Guinness and brown sugar in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer vigorously until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Mix softened butter, salt and molasses with a spatula until well blended. Add 1/4-cup of Guinness syrup (or to taste). Spread into a small ramekin and chill to set.