Irish Soda Bread

ready in an hour

So – how about that True Detective finale, everyone? I have to be honest, I was a little disappointed. I won’t say specifically what it is that I didn’t like (~no spoilers here~), but it was essentially the same problem that I had with the Breaking Bad finale. I still loved the show overall and I’m excited to see what they do with it for season two or series two or whatever you call a second edition of a mini-series. Kramer and I stayed up too late to watch it, of course, and couldn’t go to bed immediately after, so I feel like I am going to be dragging my ass today. On top of not quite getting enough sleep, daylight savings time is back to screw with me again. The one (and only) bonus about living in Arizona was that daylight savings was not observed. Every day, 365 days out of the year, the clocks remained the same. Here, though, I look out my window at 7:15am and see that the sun is just now beginning to come up. It really makes getting out of bed and on with my day extra difficult. I appreciate that eventually it’ll be light in the morning when I wake up and lighter still when I’m leaving work, but can’t we just let things be and it’ll all catch up eventually? I’m not built for this. I don’t live on a farm and I don’t travel long distances by train, so let me pretend that it’s still 6:15am so that I can go back to sleep for another luxurious 45 minutes. My favorite activity is and always be sleep, so daylight savings will continue to make me endlessly angry until someone smartens up and figures out a way to get rid of it once and for all.

Irish Soda BreadA photo of my happy place, morning coffee, a negroni at home and a Friday night movie.

Daylight savings misery aside, Kramer and I had a pretty productive weekend. On Friday night, we went with some friends to see The Grand Budapest Hotel. It was just what you’d expect from Wes Anderson, but there’s something wonderful and comforting in that. The list of actors was incredible, as always, the set design was impressive, and the music was perfectly paired with the action. Ralph Fiennes especially killed it. On Saturday, we slept in a bit before meeting some friends at Roberta’s for brunch, followed by another drink (or two, who’s counting? It’s Saturday) at the Pine Box Rock Shop because it was just so nice and sunny outside that none of us really wanted to go home quite yet. Kramer and I eventually did head home to watch more episodes of The Returned, which our friends have succeeded in convincing us to watch even though it’s in French and I never thought of myself as pretentious enough to read a TV show, but I guess that’s where I’m at in my life, now. We both ended up taking naps on the couch, which I feel like we hadn’t done in a long time and is one of my favorite things to do on a weekend where neither of us have any work to do. We rallied and had drinks with another friend followed by dinner at Fanny, after which I only lasted a few more hours before I was ready to call it a night. On Sunday, we of course woke up later than we wanted to due to miserable daylight savings, but we were both productive in that I did blog and freelance work while Kramer caught up on some reading for school. And here we are. Tired and wishing it was still an hour earlier so that we might still be in bed. SIGH.

Irish Soda Bread

One of my friends was recently telling me about a new restaurant that opened in our shared neighborhood, and the thing that stood out to me when she was explaining what she had there was the “fantastic” Irish soda bread. I hadn’t had Irish soda bread in what seemed like ages, so the idea of a big, thick slice of it with some nice salted butter was stuck in my brain all week. When we had some people over last week for the Oscars, I decided that’d be a good time to try my hand at making it at home. I knew that making the bread would be easy, but I didn’t realize just how easy. Irish soda bread has no yeast, making it excellent for a a fast, but still impressive, addition to any party spread. I used a little bit of Greek yogurt for added moisture in my Irish soda bread recipe, as well as just a bit of sugar for a touch of sweetness. A traditional loaf will have neither of these, so if you’d rather stick to the original Irish soda bread, leave them both out (although I think that they made the bread extra delicious). Slathered with soft, creamy butter or dipped into rich olive oil, this bread will certainly put a smile on your face. I cubed and froze the leftovers, and I plan to make some kind of whisky bread pudding with it at a later date. I imagine that it’d make for a pretty good sandwich, too, with simple ingredients like ham and cheese. This recipe will result in a beautiful loaf of bread without having to wait for yeast to foam or for dough to rise – just whisk everything together, form into a ball and bake. In an hour, you’ll have warm Irish soda bread ready for the snacking.

Irish Soda BreadMix together your dry ingredients, then add in the wet ingredients and stir until combined.

Irish Soda BreadForm your dough into a ball, cut an X on the top and cover with another bowl before baking until golden.

Irish Soda BreadAllow to cool slightly before slicing.

Irish Soda BreadEnjoy with salted butter or good olive oil.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12 large slices
The world's easiest bread recipe.
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk together your flour, baking soda, sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk together your milk and yogurt or sour cream until fully combined. Pour the milk mixture into the dry mixture and use a wooden spoon to gently stir the two together until you have a shaggy dough.
  3. Lightly flour your work surface, gather the dough into a loose ball, and turn it out onto the work surface. Lightly knead the dough for a couple of minutes, just until it is pliable and not too sticky. Form the dough into a ball and place it on your prepared baking sheet. Shape the dough into a rounded disc, cut an X into the top of the dough with a sharp knife, and sprinkle with a pinch or two of flour.
  4. Find an oven-proof mixing bowl double the size of the dough ball (ceramic or stainless steel will work best) and place it on top of the dough - this will help retain moisture in the bread and allow it to brown without burning. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the bowl from the bread and bake for another 15 minutes until it is a deep golden color. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool before serving and slicing, preferably with some nice butter or olive oil. The bread will keep well lightly covered and at room temperature for up to two days.


18 Responses

  1. mmm..bread in under an hour? Sign me up! Your weekends with Kramer are so lovely to read about. You two know how to have good time!

  2. I, too, wasn’t thrilled with the season finale of “True Detectives.” But I still had some pretty impressive nightmares after watching that episode!

  3. Love this speedy, beautiful loaf! Might make some tonight!? The rain isn’t supposed to disappear until tomorrow so baking is welcome :) Love reading about your weekend outings — we will be visiting Brooklyn for a week in April and I am looking forward to trying some great restaurants, etc! :)

  4. Sasha says:

    I can’t wait to see The Grand Budapest Hotel! Wes Anderson is the sh*t and his movies are just otherworldly.

    And I’m so bookmarking this recipe. Love that it doesn’t call for yeast!

  5. liz says:

    mmm, bread. do you think, in lieu of a second, giant mixing bowl, that foil would work as well?

    • Sydney says:

      Hi Liz – if you can construct something twice the size of the loaf of bread that won’t fall over, then yes! I hope you accept this challenge.

      • liz says:

        as soon as i have access to an oven that isn’t off by 25 to 50 degrees depending on its mood, it’s on.

        • Nora says:

          You can bake these on a floured hot plate or cast iron pan. My dad cut the loaf into 4 triangles instead of just making slices in the top then cooked them at med-hi for approximately 10-15 minutes a side. They look a little different lightly browned on both sides but the results are delicious. I grew up with these every weekend. My dad would then slice the triangles horizontally like a bagel, and add butter and cheese or dip them in bacon grease then toast them on a frying pan for Sunday morning bacon and eggs.

  6. Kate says:

    I am so happy to see a soda bread recipe without raisins. Seriously. You just made my day :) Thanks for sharing!

  7. This and olive oil and dinner is ready! I don’t mind daylight savings time but think the whole thing is kinda stupid. Now I have another reason to move to AZ.

  8. […] will your own belly. I’ve kind of been on a bread baking roll, lately (haw haw haw). I made Irish Soda Bread (although that doesn’t have yeast so maybe it doesn’t really count), these pretzels […]

  9. patty says:

    I would love to make this but what kind of bowl is oven proof? My mixing bowl is blue and has a silver trim on it. Can’t put it in the microwave, maybe it will work in the oven, Sure would not want to see the bowl melt on the bread!!!! My bf is Irish, I would love to make this later on for him. Happy Irish Day!!!

    • Sydney says:

      Hi Patty – I used a stainless steel mixing bowl that I got from Ikea, ha! Anything made out of something like Pyrex or ceramic or whatever material a casserole dish would be made out of should be fine. Glass may shatter, and the silver trim may be a problem, too. You can also put the bread in a springform pan, if you have that, and make a tinfoil dome over it.

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  11. […] will your own belly. I’ve kind of been on a bread baking roll, lately (haw haw haw). I made Irish Soda Bread (although that doesn’t have yeast so maybe it doesn’t really count), these pretzels […]

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  13. Meal5 says:

    Can’t put it in the microwave, maybe it will work in the oven, Sure would not want to see the bowl melt on the bread!

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