Thursday, March 20, 2014

March Sourdough Surprises - Irish Soda Bread

You know what's awesome? When a month just inherently presents a challenge for a food blog challenge group. 

What do I mean? 

What could be more perfect for a food blogging group, particularly one who makes bread related product, then a month containing a holiday that has a bread associated with it. 

Again, what do I mean?

March, St. Patrick's Day, Irish Soda Bread!

This month we made sourdough Irish soda breads! Now, we have a very traditional recipe for Irish soda bread that we've made for... well... generations. It's been in daddy's family for generations.  So changing it up... well... I wasn't sure I could get away with it. So how did I make it work? I made pre-St. Paddy's Day dinner! I made the traditional corned beef and cabbage, but a week early! And then, for the bread, made this sourdough version of the bread.

There are a couple of "non-standards" in this recipe, at least compared to the traditional "peasant" version we are used to.

This one contains oats...

(and a bit of sugar!)

It's also enriched with an egg and a bit of liquid fat (I used canola oil).

(mixed in with the sourdough starter!)

But it comes together like usual. Whisk the dry, add the wet, barely mix, just enough to combine...

...then roughly shape it into a ball.

The other change is the cross in the top of the bread. The version I am used to, you press the cross into the top with the handle of a long, wooden spoon.

This version called for cutting it.  Not only cutting it, but cutting it deep!

And the results?

Were delicious! It tasted more like an oat quick bread rather than a traditional Irish soda bread, but that didn't stop it from being tasty. In fact... I just might make it again, but bake it in a loaf rather than in this shape.

I apologize for the previous two photos and the lack of "completed, full loaf" photos - it seems my camera setting was off, and the photos were way too dark, and I didn't notice it until I uploaded them.

But I did get a few that show how delicious it was once it was cut!

Yum!  We even had some the next night with our chicken noodle soup. It was perfect.

So did you incorporate sourdough into your St. Patrick's Day celebration? Link up and share with us!

An InLinkz Link-up

Sourdough Irish Soda Bread
(from Sour Salty Bitter Sweet)

1 cup sourdough starter (100% hydration, you can use discard starter if you'd like)
1 egg
2 tablespoons liquid fat (I used canola oil)
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used 1/2 cup coconut oil with 1 teaspoon of white vinegar)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (I used old fashioned, but you can use quick cooking if that's wha tyou have)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
optional additions: 1/2 cup raisins or dried currants, 1 t. caraway seeds

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Whisk together the starter, egg, liquid fat, and buttermilk until well combined.
If using the seeds, combine them and put about 1 T. aside in a small bowl for sprinkling on top of the loaf.
In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Make a small well in the center of the mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir just until it begins to form a sticky dough. Add a little more buttermilk if it’s too dry and crumbly to form a ball (I didn't need to do this). Add a little flour if it’s so sticky you can’t shape it (again, I didn't need to do this).
(The dough can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours (covered) if you would like - when you're ready to bake, just remove from refrigerator an hour before baking to allow to return to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 400F 15-20 minutes before baking.)
Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently once or twice, just until the texture is even. Lightly flour a baking sheet and place the ball on the sheet.
Cut a deep “x” in the top (cuts should go at least 1/3 of the way through the loaf, or deeper if desired — 101 Cookbooks says 2/3 of the way through).
Brush the top with buttermilk (or regular milk, or melted butter or lard, or a beaten egg) and sprinkle with the remaining seeds, if using.
Bake 35-40 minutes, or until the top and bottom are brown and the internal temperature is at least 190F (a metal skewer inserted into the center should come out clean).
Let cool 10-15 minutes before cutting.



  1. Looks like a lovely light crumb inside a perfect crust!

  2. Awesome job! Your sourdough irish soda bread looks awesome! (And I think we used the same recipe, haha!)

  3. Yummy! I will have to try an oat version soon.

  4. I love traditions, that is great to be able to keep them and play with sourdough.

  5. The "non-standard" add ins sound like winners. Now I'm anxious to hear how the loaf pan version turns out.

  6. That is just so beautiful Shelley!

  7. Looks delicious:) Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines


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