So thank goodness for soda bread, which is basically the easiest bread to make ever. No yeast (which is the scary part of baking), no hard core kneading, no special equipment. Based on all the soda bread posts we’ve seen on TasteSpotting, it seems that currants or raisins are a fairly traditional component, but like others who have added their own personal twists, we ditched the dreaded dried fruit in favor of little bits of cheddar cheese.
This was our first time making this bread. We had no idea that they would start oozing and bubbling out like the did in our final loaf, but we love it. For some reason, our loaf had a smoother surface than most of the rough and crumbly, bumpy textures we’ve seen on basically every other loaf of soda bread we’ve seen, but hey, we’re in a new kitchen with a convection oven (which we are still trying to figure out), so we’ll take it!
This bread is part of a St Patrick’s Day menu that we put together for Microsoft (sponsor).
Irish Cheddar Soda Bread
inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe for Irish Soda Bread
Substitute anything for the cheese… you can’t really mess this bread up.
makes 1 loaf
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1½ cups cold buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup cheddar cheese (we used Irish white cheddar)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the diced butter and mix until all combined.
Lightly beat buttermilk and egg. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Toss the diced cheese with a little bit of flour to lightly coat and stir into dough.
Scrape dough onto a board (or other flat surface) and knead lightly a few times just to bring it all together into a round loaf. Place on parchment paper on sheet pan and cut a large, deep x on the loaf. It might be tough to do because the dough is very sticky.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a tester comes out clean from the center of the loaf.
Cool and serve. Butter optional.