Here’s a whole-wheat Irish soda bread recipe that’s quick, easy, and delicious. Soda bread is great for getting warm bread on the table quickly (no kneading and rising like traditional bread!). Do you know why soda bread is “Irish”?
Yeast was not readily available in Ireland during times of famine, so the Irish combined baking soda with sour milk to leaven their everyday bread. Ireland was so well known for making soda bread that it became known as “Irish” soda bread. For more history on Irish soda bread, click HERE.
This recipe is not quite your traditional Irish soda bread because it also contains currants (or raisins may be substituted) and orange zest. They give it lots of flavor so it’s not bland bread. The recipe is adapted from Barefoot Contessa At Home by Ina Garten.
The “whole wheat” Irish soda bread comes from the addition of some whole wheat flour to give it some whole grain nuttiness rather than just using all-purpose flour.
This bread is delicious warm from the oven with some butter! It’s really so easy to make that it shouldn’t be reserved for just St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It makes dinner great any time, and is pretty good as toast too! It would be interesting to pair it with Keto-friendly Cabbage & Kielbasa soup for an Irish-themed meal.
Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
- Electric Stand Mixer
- Stand Mixer Paddle Attachment
- sheet pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the currants
- 1 cup finely ground whole wheat flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, in 1/2" dice
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup dried currants
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low until the butter is mixed into the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together, and with the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.
- Shake the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. The dough should be quite wet.
- Put the dough on a floured board and knead lightly into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan, and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread.
- Bake for 45 - 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.