Baking Irish Soda Bread

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 23,895
    Mom’s Apple Pie Company specialty baker Petra Cox breaks down the process of baking a traditional Irish soda bread.

    Petra Cox: I am Petra Cox with Mom's Apple Pie Bakery in Occoquan, Virginia and today we are making Irish soda bread and it's a really simple recipe. We will just get started. For our dry ingredients, we have two and a third cup of flour and to that we will add a third of a cup of sugar and a teaspoon and a half of baking powder and half a teaspoon of baking soda where I get this in. Three quarters of a teaspoon of salt. We don't need too much salt because it has a salty effect from the soda itself and a tablespoon of caraway seeds, not everybody is into caraway seeds so some people will think of it as a traditional ingredient but some people say it's optional and a half a cup of raisins. You could add more or less raisins and caraway seeds. This is all personal preference really. So we will just quickly mix that together. Three things in there, the raisins aren't clumped together so that should be good and then we are going to put our wet ingredients together.

    The sour cream, we have got a cup and a quarter of that and then we will add a third of a cup of whole milk and just mix that together and one egg. The egg soda puffs, it makes the Irish soda bread really nice and tender. The thing about Irish soda bread, it doesn't have a texture of bread really. It has a texture of giant scone because it's made with regular flour rather than bread flour and it doesn't use yeast. In regular breads you get a lot of proteins from the gluten and it makes it nice and elastic and the yeast gives it a different flavor and texture as well but this one is made with all the ingredients you would use to make maybe muffins or scones or something like that. So, we have our dry ingredients and our wet ingredients and all we have to do is put them together. Add the sour cream and milk mixture and this isn't going to feel like regular bread dough either. It's going to be a really wet dough comparatively. It's going to be more along the lines of like a cookie dough or something.

    So as I am stirring this. It starts to develop a ball and you don't need to mix it till everything is like really smooth and combined. It's okay if a little bit of flour is on the sides and here at Mom's Apple Pie Company since we are a pie bakery we bake in a pie tin but it's traditionally baked in a skillet like a cast iron skillet, but this is lightly greased and has a little bit of flour in there just to help to ease the bread out when it's done. I am using a knife, be careful if you are making this with kids. They should always do the stuff that involves knives with you and we just get rest of our stuff from the side there. So now we have made our dough for the Irish soda bread and put it in the pan. You can use a cast iron skillet that's nice and well seasoned or you can use just a nonstick skillet without any plastic parts, something that's oven safe or if you are a bakery like us you can use your pie tins. We just use aluminum pie tins and they work really well. They keep that traditional shape for the Irish soda bread.

    So we put it in there and it fills up pretty nicely in the tin. I am going to put just a little flour because it is a sticky dough and we are going to form this in here. There is another thing where you want to make sure you have really clean hands because it's literally, a hands on project. You just want to make sure that it's all on the bottom of the pan and you want to shape it in a mounded form and the reason we have our knife here is so that we can do a little cross in here that helps it when it rises. It gives just sort of space to rise and to so that it doesn't have to break the top and if you are making this your kids make sure that you handle the knife rather than them or that you supervise them really well. So now this is our Irish soda loaf. We are going to stick it in the oven for an hour to hour fifteen minutes and in our oven it is going to be 300 degrees because it's a convection oven that blows the heat around and your oven is going to be probably around 350, same amount of time, an hour to an hour fifteen minutes depending on your particular oven or whatever the case whether you have convection or regular oven be careful. It gets really hot in there and I am just going to stick this in the oven and then in an hour or hour fifteen minutes we will have a nice Irish soda bread deep with butter.

    Alright, so our Irish soda bread is fully baked. You can see it rose pretty nicely. It didn't spread out too much towards the sides of the pan and it has a nice golden color. If used a less of the flour, it gets more of a -- there is a different color it takes on. It takes more like this sort of color. The flour will dull that color down. This is slightly cooled off. I just took out of our oven, but we have actually cooled it off a little bit and I am going to slice it just so that we have a nice, warm piece of it. Otherwise, it's actually really good toasted too. You can use just a regular bread knife. You can see the inside. It's still warm so it's still nice and moist in there, but you get a nice little piece of the caraway seeds and raisins in there and it's really fantastic just with a little bit of butter. You can use jam too but I think the raisins are enough fruit and that is probably the best way to serve it. Slightly warm or toasted with some butter on it and it's a really nice breakfast or a teatime sort of thing and super easy to make. So that is your Irish soda bread.

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