Irish Soda Bread

March 16th, 2011

St. Patrick’s Day is known for Corned Beef and Cabbage, but it is also known for Irish soda bread.  In this case I have made a brown soda bread.  The recipe came from Margaret M. Johnson, noted Irish- American cook and cookbook author.  According to her, the American version of soda bread is sweeter and more of a cake-like consistancy with raisins and caraway seeds.  True Irish soda bread, be it brown or white, is a hearty bread best served for breakfast with smoked salmon.  Her brown Irish soda bread is full of whole wheat flour, steel cut oats, and wheat germ.  It is a quick bread, relying on only baking soda and powder for leavening and uses buttermilk and an egg for the wet ingredients.  I had the ingredients mixed and the bread in the oven within 15 minutes.

Ireland is surrounded by some the cleanest water in the world and according to Margaret Johnson, seafood is one of the nation’s specialties.  One of her favorite Irish breakfasts is this Irish brown soda bread with smoked salmon and horseradish sauce.

Give this a try for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day.  May the luck of the Irish be with you.

BROWN SODA BREAD (Margaret M. Johnson from Cooking Light Magazine)

Cooking Spray
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup steel-cut oats (such as Mc Cann’s)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.  Combine flours and next 6 ingredients (through salt).  Combine buttermilk and egg; add to flour mixture.  Stir just until combined.

Spoon the mixture into prepared pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Invert bread onto a wire rack and cool completely.


1 cup sour cream
6 tablespoons white horseradish (about 4 ounces)
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill pickle
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or green onion tops

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

I am joining Kathleen of Kathleen’s Cuisine for her 3rd annual St. Patrick’s Day blog crawl.  Check out all of the St. Paddy Day recipes.

Printable recipe

12 responses to “Irish Soda Bread”

  1. In the oven in 15 minutes sounds very easy for making bread Penny. I love the smoked salmon on it. Seems to me like the perfect little sandwich for St. Patrick’s day.

  2. This sounds very appealing for St. Paddy’s Day or any day for breakfast. When I mentioned Soda bread to my mom who is in her 80’s she and dad made it immediately.

  3. That looks so good! And the bread is really healthy bread.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Hi Penny,
    Thanks for sharing your brown bread recipe with us and joining in my St Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl.
    I am now a follower. 🙂

  5. Looks great, I’ll bet the horseradish sauce really wakes you up:@)

  6. Lynda says:

    Your bread sounds really healthy and delicious; would be a great breakfast!

  7. Donnie says:

    Sounds delicious and the horseradish cream would go good with a lot of things.

  8. Good blog my friend!

  9. Pondside says:

    That photo made me very hungry!

  10. Lyla says:

    Looks delicious here and on Kathleen’s Cuisine. Hope you win–you should. Now…onto my problem: I want to make the perfect Reuben: Here are my questions 1) Pastrami or corned beef—not turkey. 2) Russian or thousand island dressing–what is the best homemade recipe? 3)Toasted or grilled rye bread (marble rye?) You’re the expert and I’m tried of stumbling through this by myself. Happy St. Paddy’s Day from someone who is 1/4 Irish.

  11. Penny says:

    Lyla, I say use corned beef with Russian dressing. Drain the saurekraut well. Use Swiss cheese. Butter the rye bread on the outside and grill slowly with a weight or press down with a spatula to bring everything together. Kind of like the grilled tunas at Caruso’s. Flip once until both sides are browned nicely. For the dressing try 1/3 cup mayo,2 tablespoons ketchup, a little horseradish and 1/2 tsp Worstershire. Salt and pepper to taste. May the luck of the Irish be with you because I can’t guarantee the results.

  12. Lyla says:

    Perfect! Thanks!

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