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nosh friday: irish brown soda bread

March 18, 2011

Okay, okay, so I’m one day late on the Irish food post. But hey, somewhere in the world, I bet someone is still celebrating. And once you try this bread, you might want to make it more than just once a year.


Okay, maybe not every day. But it’s delicious, it really is. This recipe comes from an Irish Pub cookbook that I got a few years back with recipes from well-reputed pubs all over the Emerald Isle. This particular recipe comes from a pub called Hargadon’s in Sligo. The recipe calls it a natural brother and friend to Irish stew, which I coincidentally also recently had the itch to try. With St. Paddy’s Day landing this week, I decided my House Church should celebrate by eating a giant Irish feast — and what a feast it was! Lamb stew, brown soda bread and Guinness brownies. I admit, it was tricky going here and there, wondering what you wanted to stuff in your face first. I’m no good at making decisions, so I dunked my bread in the stew and jammed about half a piece in my mouth all at once. (If I thought it would have tasted good, I might have snuck a bite of brownie in there, too.)

Divine, oh so divine.

This brown soda bread, different than the traditional lighter soda bread you see studded with currants or raisins, is a hearty quick bread, chock full of whole grains and entirely pleasant with soups, stews, or just a little butter and honey. I’m sure the Irish wouldn’t object to it next to a pot of tea or a pint of Guinness. As for me, my answer is simply “Yes, please!”

Hardagon’s Irish Brown Soda Bread
From Margaret Johnson’s The Irish Pub Cookbook

3 c. coarse whole wheat flour
1 c. white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 1/4 c. buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3 loaf pans. (The recipe says this makes one loaf, but I would caution against that. I’ve made this before as one loaf and mine turned out raw in the middle and overflowing. Granted, my loaf pans are a half-inch too small on all sides, but in any case, I prefer this bread in two smaller loaves rather than one giant loaf.)

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. With a wooden spoon, stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients.

Spoon the dough into your prepared pans and smooth the tops with a spatula dipped in buttermilk or water. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn the bread out onto a rack and let cool, right side up, for about 1 hour to make slicing easier.

Makes one large or two small loaves

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 19, 2011 10:48 am

    You are my hero! I was just thinking that I wanted to make some sort of bread today. This one sounds like a winner!

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