The American origins, the five-ingredient recipe (yes, it’s as simple as it sounds), and two ways to get more Guinness down the hatch on St. Paddy’s Day, or any day that calls for stout and a warm loaf.
The origins of Irish soda bread
Contrary to its name, the origins of Irish soda bread are early America. And not early Americans, but Native Americans. If what’s written in Illinois’ Daily Journal is correct, Irish immigrants learned this bread-baking technique from the natives, and brought it back to Ireland.
Classic vs brown soda bread
A traditional recipe only calls for baking soda, sour milk (buttermilk) and flour. Brown soda bread, like the recipe below, calls for whole wheat flour. Any addition of dried fruit or nuts would not be classic, and are breads of another name.
The method for any soda bread
Soda bread gets its name from baking soda, the leavening agent. As with any quick bread recipe, the dry ingredients are whisked together, followed by the wet. The difference here is that less liquid is used to form a thicker, more bread-like dough, instead of a looser batter like for banana bread.
The deets on Irish soda bread
Irish soda bread mixes together and bakes up in less than an hour. Whole wheat flour and buttermilk give this brown soda bread recipe an earthier flavor, a bit more fiber and subtle tang. Which, if I’m being honest, pairs awfully good with Guinness. Or a sunrise and a
How to make a Guinness glaze
Simple and quick, and full of stout flavor! Any glaze is a simple mixture of a liquid and sugar, and this one is no exception.
- Combine Guinness and dark brown or muscovado sugar in a small saucepan.
- Simmer until the liquid is reduced to about a quarter cup.
This glaze is sweet and bitter and delish drizzled over a hot and fresh loaf of soda bread.
Guinness butter for Irish soda bread
The only important step here is to be sure your butter is softened, and the glaze is cool. Otherwise, you could end up with a melted, unmixed mess.
- Make Guinness glaze
- Beat softened butter with a hand or stand mixer (or a whisk) until slightly lightened in color.
- Add salt, a little molasses and Guinness glaze.
If you want to go gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow-crazy this St. Paddy’s day, make the Guinness butter, and pour the extra glaze over the loaves when you take them out of the oven.
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.
Yours in stout,Print
A quick and easy recipe for Irish soda bread! Add a festive, fun touch with a Guinness glaze and a little stout-spiked butter.
Irish Soda Bread
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1¾ cups of buttermilk (or enough to moisten dough)
- 1 12-oz bottle Guinness
- ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- Two pinches of kosher salt (1 pinch of table salt)
- ¼ cup Guinness glaze
Mix + bake soda bread
- 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 and bring to a boil.
- Simmer until reduced to about a half cup, about 30 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Mix softened butter, salt and molasses with a spatula until well blended.
- Add ¼ cup of Guinness syrup (or to taste).