My Mother-in-Law apparently makes the best Irish Soda Bread. My son Brooks spends weekends sometimes with his grandparents and comes home raving about his Grammy’s homemade bread. Wouldn’t you think he’d like Mom-the-Recipe-Girl’s recipes for soda bread the best? Nope- Grammy has always had his heart won on hers. The funny thing is- I don’t even think she follows a recipe! I’ve never seen one written, but I suppose I’ll have to do some heavy investigating. In the meantime, I messed with Bon Appetit’s recipe for Brown Butter Soda Bread to create my own twist on this bread.
BA’s version was a savory sort. I took the savory out of it and turned it into sweet instead. The bread itself isn’t sweet, but I didn’t want rosemary or other spices mixing flavors with the dried currants that I wanted to add. The most difficult part of this recipe is browning the butter, which takes all of 4 minutes on the stove and is super easy to do. Take the time to brown the butter- it has magical flavors!
The dough is super easy to work with- I mixed in a little whole wheat flour to my recipe. No yeast is involved, and it just pats together into two small loaves.
Cut (score) an X into the tops of the loaves. The “X” allows the bread to expand properly while cooking (and let steam escape). It also provides for a visually appealing look to the surface of the bread. Thanks to The Fresh Loaf for their awesome bread-scoring tutorial!
Brush with a little bit of egg white wash.
And bake until golden and crispy on the outside.
While my bread was baking, I assembled a sweet butter to go with it. Mix softened butter with a good drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
And you’ll see how amazing this is when spread onto warm soda bread. It’s a must, really.
Ready for eating. I suggest just tearing off a warm chunk of bread and having a go at it. My family of three plowed through 1 1/2 of these small loaves during our dinner where salad was our main dish. It was very easy to eat, and the honey butter was so good that I had to make more!
I think Grammy might have some competition here. Brooks really, really enjoyed this soda bread. Did he like it better than Grammy’s? Well… when I asked him, he wouldn’t respond. So either he didn’t want to hurt my feelings or he didn’t want to hurt Grammy’s. I think he was kinda smart to keep those thoughts to himself 🙂
Check out Jessica’s version of this recipe on How Sweet it Is for a savory version of Brown Butter Soda Bread.
Brown Butter Soda Bread
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup oats
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cups buttermilk
- ½ cup dried currants
- 1 large egg white, beaten
HONEY BUTTER (optional)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 to 2 shakes ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted and golden brown (stirring often and keeping a close eye), 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and set it aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the brown butter and buttermilk until the flour mixture is moistened and comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a well floured work surface. Sprinkle the currants on top and knead them gently into the dough until the dough comes together, about 7 turns. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into ball, and lightly flatten each into 6-inch round. Place the rounds on ungreased baking sheet, spacing 5 inches apart. Use a knife to cut a ½ inch deep "X" in the top of each round of dough. Brush the tops with the egg wash.
- Bake the loaves until they turn deep golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool breads on rack at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- If you'd like to make the honey butter, just mix the butter with honey and cinnamon in a small bowl until blended. Serve with the bread.
- Tip from Bon Appetit: You'll get the most tender soda bread by kneading the dough gently and briefly, just until it comes together, so the gluten is minimally developed.
Made this and it’s delicious, but a bit dense. I think I slightly overworked the dough trying to get the raisins mixed in properly. I’ll make it again, but mixing the raisins in with the dry ingredients so they’re already dispersed before I add the wet ones.
This looks so easy, I have not tried baking breads before. I’m in a country that most of the time ingredients are not that readily available, what can you suggest a good replacement for currants?…raisins?, apricot?, prunes?….thanks..
Sure- any other dried fruit cut into small pieces should work fine.
I made this a few weeks ago, and looking over your pictures the craving is striking me again!
I made this bread this morning for St. Patrick’s Day and my kids and I LOVED it! Thank you so much for the recipe- it was so moist and flavorful we ate it plain without butter! I will make this again and again!
I want to make this and I have whole wheat pastry flour, would that work instead of regular whole wheat flour?
Not sure if those work interchangeably or not- google your question and see what you come up with!
I think I would totally fall in love with this bread. P.S. your son has to say that about his grandma…isn’t that what grandma’s are for?
I’m totally making this on Saturday!!
There seems to be some desparity between the 1/2 cup of currants
in the recipe and the very generous amount pictured in the dough and the finished bread. Is there an error in the amount of currants suggested?
Hi Mimi- nope- 1/2 cup of dried currants is exactly what I used for the photo demo. Currants are so tiny, so 1/2 cup is actually quite a lot!
Just made this tonight with my 9 year old son. He made his loaf without the currants. He loved it, and the honey butter!! I thought it was a great recipe for kids!
Do you know how much I love Irish Soda Bread?? BUT I have never made it myself.
I am totally trying this for st paddys. Brown Butter makes everything better, doesn’t it?
That is the prettiest soda bread, Lori! As for the addition of brown butter – well, I think your mother-in-law’s recipe might be given a run for its money.
There is nothing… NOTHING, I love more than really good soda bread. This looks amazing!
oh you are too kind to share such goodness.with us..I love your blog and your recipes, you are just great, when you become famous do you need an assistant? You think I’m kidding don’t you?.. >VBG< can't wait for the cookbook, will you be going on a signing tour? See what I mean, an assistant would be helpful! love ya!!
Bread making at home is a bliss! I can imagine it’s hard to resist the temptation of melting honey butter on the fresh-out-of-the-oven soda bread. This is just perfect for any time of the day! 🙂
Can you believe I’ve never had/made a soda bread before? Weird, right?
I can’t wait to give this a try. And what’s great is there’s no yeast in this. Sometimes I just don’t have patience for all the rising that needs to be done.
Thanks for sharing this recipe, Lori 🙂
This looks beautiful and I bet it tastes even better. Hope to make some Irish Soda Bread before St Paddy’s Day.
Can’t wait to another of these delicious recipes! Go Grammy!
Can i make the dough ahead of time??
the dough itself? I wouldn’t think so. It’s not like a yeast dough- it’s wet… ready to go right into the oven.
This looks simply delicious! I was staring at the pictures hoping I could be transported through my computer screen to grab a piece. I guess instead I’ll have to whip this up. Looks just delicious! I can not wait to try! Topped with the cinnamon honey butter, yum!
I will take your version any day!
Kids are funny; my 6 year old won’t eat my scrambled eggs, only Grandma’s. But really, we make them the exact same way!
This looks pretty easy for homemade bread! I’ve never tried my hand at it, but I think I can swing this! Also, planning on making your green St. Patty’s day cake this weekend. Yay carbs! 🙂
This looks fantastic! I am always looking for a good recipe for soda bread at Easter. Thanks!
Sounds wonderful! I have not made soda bread, which is surprising because I’m a bread addict! I have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Yummm, I’ve loved Irish Soda Bread since I was a kid, but have somehow never made it myself. I just pinned it, and I’m hoping to have time to make it before St. Patty’s Day!
That’s a great twist on the soda bread. I need to get back to baking 🙂
Lori this is absolutely GORGEOUS!! Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day 🙂
I love all of the Irish soda bread recipes that I am seeing around. I have never had it but I’m convinced that I need to try it. And this butter! Oh, the trouble that will get me in!
This looks so good, Lori! And that cinnamon honey butter to boot…YUM!
This looks wonderful. I want to go home and bake it now. I also think everything is better with browned butter.