Video: Annie Cooks Irish Soda Bread

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Irish Soda Bread is on the menu when “Annie Cooks” — a cooking video from Yankee that highlights senior food editor, Annie B. Copps.

I’m Annie Copps, Food Editor at Yankee magazine, Any good leprechaun will tell you the key to good Irish soda bread is don’t get overworked. Don’t overwork the dough and don’t you get overworked.

I’m going to show you a really simple recipe that is going to get you in the kitchen not just on St. Patrick’s Day but any time of the year to enjoy this simple, easy bread.

We start with three cups of all purpose flour and it’s in the standing mixer. And to it I am going to add a quarter cup of sugar. Next to add a little bit of levity we are going to use two types of sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda and baking powder.

Baking soda. We are only adding one teaspoon because it’s pure sodium bicarbonate and it really packs an oomph. Once you add water to it both of these will create carbon dioxide and that is what is going to give it bubbles and levity.

Now baking powder, also sodium bicarbonate, with cream of tartar and a little bit of corn starch has more staying powder than the baking soda. That’s why we add the two. And I am going to add a little bit of salt just to draw out all the ingredients that we are going to add so that you can really taste them. Makes sense to add them.

Okay. Half a teaspoon of salt. And I am just going to give these a quick stir so that they are evenly incorporated in what will soon be our dough.

I am also going to add two tablespoons of caraway seeds. That is going to add a lot of nice flavor. And a cup of golden raisins. Also called sultanas. You could add currants, dried currants, raisins, or even dried cherries or dried apricots. What ever you like but these sultanas or golden raisins are traditional.

I’m just going to give them a stir again so they are evenly incorporated. And something else that is going to add a little bit of tang and some levity to our Irish soda bread is buttermilk. So I have a cup of buttermilk here and to that I am going to whisk in one large egg.

I like to crack eggs on a flat surface rather than the side of a bowl because when you do it on the side of a bowl sometimes those egg shells go in to the egg. Then you open it up you have a better chance of getting egg shells in to whatever it is that you are mixing if you crack it on the side. So on a flat surface in it goes.

I’m whisking this before hand just to make sure that it gets really incorporated in to the bread. We’re going to try not to mix this bread too much. Whisking it together before hand is going to give us less time stirring things around with that flour.

Next, I am adding a quarter cup of melted unsalted butter. We are using melted butter because it will incorporate in to the dough much more easily.

Next, we are going to add buttermilk and that whisked egg. And in that goes. This is probably the most important step. That buttermilk and egg in there. We don’t want it to get over incorporated so I am just going to stir just until it forms a dough.

And that’s where we stop. We are going to finish working this dough by hand. It doesn’t look like much right now. We are going to just work it with our hands so we get a nice round loaf. We don’t want to knead the dough because again we don’t want to get that gluten too excited. But we are going to just sort of turn it on it self just a few times so that you have kind of a giant scone.

So there you have it. I am going to put it on to a parchment lined baking sheet and score a traditional X right on the top. Not too deep we are just scoring it. All we have to do now is pop it in to a 350 degree oven and in 45 minutes we will have Irish soda bread.

Okay. So it’s baked for 45 minutes. Next what we want to do is let it cool on a wire rack just for about 20 minutes so that it finishes baking inside and cools enough so that when we slice it we get this beautiful crumbly scone like pieces.

Look at that. Beautiful. I like to put a little bit of butter on it. Some might say that’s gilding the lily but I think it is delicious. And if you really want to be special, some preserves. Oh, good night nurse. This is going to be great.

For this recipe and a whole lot more visit us at YankeeMagazine.com. Thank you.


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