Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mini Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread -- a recipe with rules and about 50 million ways to break them. Traditionally, Irish soda bread is made with 4 ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. That's it. Anything else added and it is no longer a "traditional" Irish Soda Bread. Not only does this bread only involve four ingredients, but there is also no kneading or rise time involved. You can't get much easier than that.

Of course, over the years, a whole host of things have been added from eggs to whiskey to yogurt to raisins and the list goes on. So... feel free to add whatever you'd like. Since St. Patty's Day is just around the corner, I opted to go for the "almost traditional" route by including just a bit of sugar. I can't follow all the rules, now can I?

Mini Irish Soda Breads
Adapted from: CaffeIna

3 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose or cake flour)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
8+ ounces buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour, then set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well.

Form a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the buttermilk into the well and stir with a wooden spoon. The dough will be soft but lumpy. If all the flour mixture is not hydrated, add more buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Knead the dough 15-30 seconds, then shape into a large disk. You can slice a cross in the dough and bake at this point, or you can divide the dough evenly into 6 balls. Flatten the tops of the balls, then cut a cross halfway deep into the top of each one. Transfer the balls to the baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 400 degrees F and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Transfer the breads to a cooling rack for several minutes before serving them.

Makes: 6 mini breads

Right out of the oven (okay, after cooling for a few minutes), these little bread balls somewhat reminded me of those flaky Pillsbury biscuits. You know the ones, with the layers you can peel, only with a much crunchier outside and without the buttery factor. Not so bad for only 5 ingredients.

Then I tried to reheat these wrapped in foil in the oven right before dinner. Not so great. These had lost their crispy crunch outside and fluffy inside, and were instead just tough on the outside and super dense on the inside. Even the ones that didn't go in the oven were the same way. Sad face.

If you plan on serving these right out of the oven, I say go for it. They're tasty then. However, I wouldn't make this ahead of time or plan on keeping it around, it just doesn't hold up for later use.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 283Calories from fat 9
% Daily Value
Total Fat 1.0g2%
Cholesterol 2mg1%
Sodium 639mg27%
Total Carbs 58.2g19%
Dietary Fiber 2.0g8%
Sugars 2.7g
Protein 8.8g
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 6%Iron 19%


  1. Oh my this is like the mini version of what my mom used to make! I love it! Reminds me of her

  2. Oh my gosh, those mini breads look amazing!

  3. Your breads look great! I think adding a little sugar was a great idea :)

  4. These little Irish soda breads look delicious! I never knew that the original Irish soda bread only has 4 ingredients. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I do like flaky biscuits. These sound great, I love how little ingredients are involved.

  6. OMG I love that you made them mini! They are so cute!

  7. Toasting the bread in bacon fat is the traditional way of reheating it. I'm pretty sure it would work equally well with butter. I like it the next day, cold, with just a light smear of butter. But maybe I'm just weird. =P I've not tried toasting it in a regular toaster either, maybe that would work. (My recipe used 1 c ap flour and 2 c whole wheat + 1/4 c old-fashioned oats, so was very very similar to the one you used.)

  8. I'm not a lick of Irish, but these sound so good. I love Irish Soda Bread, but I have the bad habit of eating a lot of it at once...maybe this would reduce that?

  9. I love that you made these so traditional only mini! Much easier to serve. Plus, I adore mini things :)

  10. Top 9!! You deserve it! Simple recipe - beautiful pictures! ♥- Katrina

  11. Oh MY! I just made these to go along with my Guinness Beef Stew, and they were perfect! Quick and Easy and a great compliment to my stew. Thanks for sharing!

  12. They look so cute, I do plan on trying soda bread soon but'll make sure to eat them straight away, thanks for the tips!

  13. MMM!!! I'm loving the small size of these guys. My mom adores soda bread, I think I will have to surprise her. She had hip surgery 2 weeks ago and is still in rehab, these would be a nice treat!