I’m going to be completely honest and say that St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that I don’t celebrate. I never have. I don’t drink green beer, I don’t eat Irish food, I don’t pinch people (please don’t touch me ever lol) and I always forget to wear green. But I do love bread. And I love Irish soda bread.
Irish soda bread has the most humblest of beginnings. It was made during time when it was difficult to access high-quality ingredients. It was simple: low-protein flour, “soda” aka baking soda (for leavening), soured milk and…umm…that’s it!
This is what I like to call reworked Irish soda bread. It has a bit of cold grated butter, some rolled oats for texture. And instead of raisins, I added chocolate chips because I love myself.
This loaf was a hot mess the first go around because I was silly enough to forget the baking soda. Like, I had a literal blank moment where I thought I added it but when it didn’t rise or brown or anything after 45 minutes of baking, I knew something was majorly wrong.
I made it again and made sure to add the baking soda first. Problem solved.
I added a bit of honey butter onto a warm slice and it tasted like heaven.
Irish Soda Bread:
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, shaken
- 1 large egg, beaten, for egg wash (optional)
Salted Honey Butter:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons honey
To Make the Soda Bread:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Using a box grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients and mix quickly, being sure the butter is broken up into pea-sized bits. Next, add the rolled oats and chocolate chips; toss them gently in the flour mixture so they are evenly distributed.
- Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon, mix it together until it forms a shaggy ball. Drop the soda bread dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead a few times, being sure to not over handle it, which will result in tough bread. Form the soda bread into a 1 1/2-inch thick disc. Using a knife, score the top, forming an X, and brush it with the egg wash OR you could always use buttermilk.
- Transfer the soda bread to the baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, and until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm with plenty of honey butter.
To Make the Honey Butter:
- Mix together the butter, salt and honey. Mix until smooth. Serve alongside soda bread.