I consider myself half Irish since two of my great grandparents (or was it great, great?) arrived on a boat from Galway back in the 1800’s.
But even if I didn’t claim Irish heritage I’d still be a fan of Irish soda bread. Moist and hearty, it’s a satisfying treat in the often slushy month of March.
Quick to mix up, you can have a loaf on the table in under an hour.
And what a lovely loaf it is, round and crackled on top.
You’ll want to eat it all at once, and you should. It has a nasty habit of drying out so consider it your duty to devour it in one day.
The soda bread recipes that I grew up with didn’t include molasses but I couldn’t help but think about what a great addition molasses would make to this soulful bread. So off I went in search of a version with molasses.
I found this recipe on Food.com and made only the slightest adaptation: I substituted currants for raisins.
Irish soda bread with molasses
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk*
- 1/4 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
- 2 Tbsps vegetable oil
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsps salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup currants
- Put the 1/2 cup oats in mixing bowl. Stir in the buttermilk, molasses and oil; reserve.
- Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.
- Make a well in the dry mixture and add the liquid all at once; add currants.
- Stir until dough pulls together in a shaggy mass.
- Let rest 3 minutes.
- Flour your work surface and hands.
- Scoop the dough onto floured surface and knead gently, sprinkling with flour as required.
- Knead gently just until dough comes together, cut in half and shape into two balls.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.
- Using a sharp, serrated knife, make two parallel slashes on the surface of the dough, about 3/4 -inch deep.
- Leave plenty of room between the loaves.
- Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 and bake 20 minutes more, until dark and crusty.
- When done, the bottom should sound hollow when tapped with a finger.
- Cool loaves before slicing
*You can use soured milk if you don’t have butter milk. Just put 1 1/2 Tbsp vinegar in a measuring cup and fill it to the 1 3/4 cup mark with milk. Let sit for 5 minutes before using. Or put 1/4 cup plain yogurt in a measuring cup and fill to the 1 3/4 cup mark with milk. Stir well.
Do you love molasses quick breads? Try this oatmeal brown bread recipe.