Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Irish Soda Bread

March 20, 2012 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, quick breads, savory things, tuesdays with dorie | 35 Comments
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Irish soda bread

We may represent six different continents, but this week we’re all Irish in TWD with Marion Cunningham’s Irish Soda Bread.  I like Marion Cunningham.  I think she seems like a cool lady, and I have a few of her books (the most well-used is The Breakfast Book).  But I digress…

I knew that I wanted to have this bread with butter and marmalade on St. Patrick’s Day morning, but I didn’t know how I was going to pull it off for breakfast when it takes almost an hour to bake and then more time to cool.  I was worried about making it in advance, because in the book, the recipe intro says it turns “as hard as the Blarney Stone” (which I have kissed, btw) after a few hours.  Then I watched the video of Marion and Julia making the bread together…Marion whips out an already-made loaf and clearly says that it had been baked the night before, left to cool completely and then wrapped.  So that’s what I did…I made it the night before and it was still perfect the next morning.

This recipe has just four ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk), and the dough is simply stirred together…it’s almost amazing that it turns into bread!  I had actually wanted to sneak some currants in my loaf, too, but then I completely forgot about them until the second after I’d scraped the sticky dough into the pie plate.  I wasn’t going to mess with it anymore at the point.  No matter– the bread had plenty of flavor…a little salty and a little tangy.  Like most Irish people I know, my loaf also had plenty of character….I probably could have kneaded a bit more flour into it to make it a smoother round, but I liked its quirkiness just fine.

Irish soda bread

Don’t wait until next March to make this….it’s so easy and good that it’s perfect anytime.  For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here in somewhat condensed form) or read Carla’s blog Chocolate Moosey, and Cathleen’s blog My Culinary Mission, as they are co-hosting this recipe.  Thanks, ladies!  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.


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  1. I was amazed it turned into bread, too! Not too shabby!

  2. Hah, I watched the video, too, and mine lasted overnight plus we’re still going strong. We should all be watching the videos just for the fun of it!

  3. that looks absolutely divine – especially with the marmalade…

  4. Maybe I should try this recipe again. My loaf came out kind of salty, but I did love the texture of this bread.

  5. Love the rough & bumpy texture that yours has! Great job and oh boy that last photo is what I wish I were eating right now!

  6. I love your loaf’s character! Looks like a perfect breakfast to me, Steph. 🙂

  7. simple, yet beautiful! I enjoy your posts!

  8. Your bread looks perfect!

  9. I love it plain (without add-ins) so I can schmear all sorts of yummy stuff on a toasted slice. So simple and delicious. And yours turned out so beautiful!

  10. I love the picture of your bread smothered with jam. It looks soooo good.

  11. Your bread looks delicious, but I love the look of that jam as well!

  12. Your bread looks great! I loved the ease of this recipe. 🙂

  13. Your first photo is magazine-worthy!

  14. Yum that last picture made me want more bread! Looks great

  15. What beautiful photos of your bread! Butter and jam/marmalade is the way to go

  16. Beautiful pics & scrumptious looking bread!

  17. The unpretentious look makes this bread so appealing…beautiful photos…

    Add in or not, it’s a great recipe!

    ~ Carmen

  18. Mine’s been wrapped in plastic wrap for two days and it’s still soft and chewy… not hard at all! 🙂

  19. Looks good.
    It’s amazing how something so simple can work out so well.

  20. Lovely loaf!! I like the craggy surface too; its gives the bread some character. I’m glad I’m not the only one that experience wet dough. I could barely get it onto the parchment, since it kept wanting to stick to my fingers. I very gingerly patted it here and there so that it at least resembled a disk. So glad you were able to have your wish of bread w/ marmalade for breakfast! That marmalade looks good, whatever kind it is.

  21. Great light on the first pic and the jam looks amazing!

  22. Your photos are really good, and I like the light. Glad you liked it too. xxoo, L

  23. Looks wonderful but this bread was not for me!

  24. i like how rustic the bread looks, it knows that perfect looks aren’t everything!

  25. Quirkyness!! Great word. Great looking bread. Mine was really damp/sticky too. but oh so good.

  26. That looks like a wonderful breakfast! I wrapped the leftover part of my loaf and thought it was fine the next day too.

  27. I don’t mind that the bread turns hard. It still toasts up with a toothsome crust and soft crumb. Looking forward to pizza rustica!

  28. I love your photo composition.

  29. Your loaf looks wonderful! I really liked this recipe too, so good.

  30. Your loaf is beautiful! It looks even better with the jam and butter. Amazing how one recipe can produce so many different but gorgeous loaves of simple bread. BTW, thanks for your comment on my post. One of the guests who enjoyed my loaf was my Australian mother…from Sydney also.

  31. We ate the last of the bread, toated for breakfast, a week after it was made. It tasted wonderful, with the buttermilk taste coming through. So I loved making Irish soda bread, and I love that picture of yours with the marmalade. It looks luscious. Is it homemade?

  32. Great-looking bread! I like that is has character! And I agree, it was delicious with jam and butter.

    I love your logo! Did you create it?

    • Thanks, Libby! I didn’t create my logo. I hired someone to do it a couple years ago, but I don’t think she does them anymore…focusing on something else.

  33. Your pictures are beautiful! I loved how simple this bread was also.

  34. I gave my one year old a slice of it and she kept wanting more…! I suppose that’s the mark of a good loaf of bread!

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