irish soda bread

i love fresh, home baked bread. i hate kneading and waiting for yeast to do its thing. so when saturday's "america's test kitchen" had soda bread, i was all over it.

all in all, it took about 5 minutes to mix together and get into the oven. ATK recommended baking the bread in a cast iron skillet. since i don't have one, i used a dutch oven with the lid off. and it worked perfectly. mixing, baking, and cooling took a total of 70 minutes to whip up a loaf of bread.

and honey butter (soft unsalted butter mixed with a bit of honey) goes perfect.

important notes:
  • don't knead the bread. otherwise it will come out tough and not so good.
  • i transferred my dough onto a piece of parchment paper before putting it into the pan. the loaf is kinda patched together, so it doesn't stay in one ball, making it hard to move.
irish soda bread
adapted from america's test kitchen (aka cook's illustrated)
  1. preheat your oven to 400F and mix the following in a large bowl:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
  1. cut in 2 tablespoons of very soft butter with your hands.
  2. make a well in the center and add 1 3/4 cups buttermilk.
  3. use a fork to quickly mix in the buttermilk just until incorporated. do not overmix.
  4. turn out and press into a loaf. do not knead.
  5. cut a cross slit in the top of the loaf.
  6. bake in a greased cast iron skillet or dutch oven without the top for about 40 minutes. check with a wooden skewer to ensure the loaf is done.
  7. let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before turning out and slicing.


  1. You need to list the oven temperature.

    1. ack! good catch. i just updated it with the temp.


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