Irish Soda Bread is one of those dishes that everyone in America associates with St. Patrick's Day, and here you'll find many variations on the recipe, even though soda bread in Ireland traditionally contains only flour, baking soda, salt, and sour milk or buttermilk. Probably we should be calling our bread Irish American Soda Bread, but no matter what you call it, this bread is easy to make and delicious. For this version I've used a combination of white whole wheat and whole wheat flour with added wheat bran and wheat germ to make it relatively South Beach Diet friendly, although the recipe does contain a small amount of butter and brown sugar.
The fact that this is the third variation of Irish Soda Bread to show up on Kalyn's Kitchen shows how food blogging has changed my life, because when I started this blog in 2005, I'd never dreamed of making Irish Soda Bread. Then a few years ago I started hearing about it, and found out that my slightly Irish father loves it, and I've been trying a new variation ever year since. Have you ever made true Irish or Irish American Soda Bread? If so, please share your recipe or a link in the comments.
Mix together white whole wheat flour, whole wheat flour, toasted wheat bran, wheat germ, oatmeal crumbs, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.
The recipe called for cutting the butter into tiny pieces, but my butter was frozen so I peeled the wrapped down to the 2 T mark and grated it with the large side of a grater. This worked really well.
Here's how the grated butter looked before I mixed it in with my fingers.
Pinch the butter into the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Measure out 2 cups of buttermilk, then add it by half cups until the mixture becomes a loose dough. (In Utah where it's very dry I used the entire 2 cups of buttermilk, but you might not need it all.)
Here's how my dough looked after the buttermilk was all mixed in.
Scrape the dough into a 9 inch x 5 inch x 3 inch loaf pan that you've sprayed with olive oil or nonstick spray. (I smoothed the top down with my fingers but later I thought that maybe I shouldn't have!)
Here's how my Brown Soda Bread looked after it baked for 43 minutes at 425F/220C. Let it cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes, then eat warm. I ate it with my favorite Brummel & Brown Natural Yogurt Spread, but if you're not a South Beach Dieter, butter would be heavenly too.
100% Whole Wheat Brown Soda Bread
Makes one large loaf of brown soda bread, recipe adapted slightly from The Bon Appetit Cookbook.)
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3 T toasted wheat bran
3 T toasted wheat germ
2 T oatmeal (I used oatmeal "crumbs" that has been ground in the food processor)
2 T brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt (I used fine grind sea salt)
2 T cold butter, either cut into small cubes or grated on the large side of a cheese grater
2 cups buttermilk (you may not need it all, but measure out 2 cups just in case)
Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Spray a 9 inch x 5 inch x 3 inch loaf pan with olive oil or nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour, whole wheat flour, toasted wheat bran, toasted wheat germ, oatmeal or oatmeal crumbs, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt and mix together well.
Cut butter into small cubes or grate with the large side of a cheese grater, then add butter to the flour mixture. Wash and dry your hands, then use your fingers to pinch the butter into the flour until it's well combined and the mixture resembles coarsely ground cornmeal.
Measure out 2 cups of buttermilk. Add buttermilk to the flour/butter mixture 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each 1/2 cup of buttermilk is added. Keep adding buttermilk until you have a loose dough. (Depending on where you live and how dry your flour is, you may not need all the buttermilk.)
Scrape the dough into the sprayed loaf pan. Bake until the bread is very brown and a toothpick inserted into the very center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. (I baked the bread in these photos for exactly 43 minutes.) Run a knife around the edge of the pan and tip bread out onto a cooling rack and let it cool 10-15 minutes on rack before cutting.
Irish soda bread can be eaten hot, and it also makes wonderful toast. This type of brown soda bread with a little butter in the recipe will keep a little longer than some types of Irish soda bread, but it's still best eaten the day you make it or the next day.
South Beach Suggestions:
This recipe has a small amount of brown sugar and butter, both of which are not recommended for the South Beach Diet, but considering that the loaf of bread makes at least 10-12 slices, the amount of these ingredients in each serving is still very small. I think this could be eaten once in a while for phase 2 or 3 of the diet, and especially if you're Irish and it's St. Patrick's day!
More Versions of Irish American Soda Bread You Might Like
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Agave-Sweetened 100% Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread from Kalyn's Kitchen
White Whole Wheat and Oatmeal Irish Soda Bread from Kalyn's Kitchen
Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread from Gluten-Free Goddess
Caraway Soda Bread from Simply Recipes
Irish Soda Bread from The Perfect Pantry
Irish Soda Bread from Andrea Meyers
Agnes O'Sullivan's Brown Bread from Tea and Cookies
Irish Soda Bread from The Nourishing Gourmet
Irish Soda Bread Muffins from Kitchen Parade
Irish Soda Bread from Lisa's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)