Earlier this week on my Instagram stories I shared one of my take action goals – photography for this blog. I’ve always loved capturing the simple moments, but truth be told, I get intimidated by big girl camera. After talking about this with a friend I had an ah-ha moment, it was very simple and staring me straight in the face – I’ll never get better at taking photos if I never practice and implement what I learn. Pretty straight forward.
So I gave my self a pep talk, put on a go get ’em attitude, and got to snapping away for this yummy savory Irish soda bread recipe. Now, I’m not much of a baker (you’ll understand if you read about my pie fiasco) but I love being in the kitchen and wanted a slight challenge. St. Patty’s day is next week, which also happens to be my sweet fur-baby’s birthday. Call me a nerd, but I love celebrating the holiday and it’s a tradition of mine to make corned beef and cabbage and this Irish soda bread is its perfect side kick.
A little back story before we dive in to the recipe – I used to make Irish soda bread every year when I was younger, only I followed a recipe from my super cool Beanie Baby cookbook. All you 90’s kids know what I’m talking about! Ha!
Somehow the cookbook has gotten lost over the years and I’ve had to recreate a recipe. Rarely do I follow an exact recipe step by step, I like to tinker with it a bit, it makes it feel more like my own. But baking is different, you have to be precise, so when creating a recipe I decided to use a simple base soda bread recipe and add to it, this version served as my inspiration. There were definitely moments that I was second guessing myself and I crossed my fingers wishing that it would come out edible. It was delicious.
In full disclosure, soda bread differs from other breads like french bread, it’s dense, but full of flavor. I’ve seen recipes that call for raisins, but I’m a salt loving gal and crave salty over sweet. Speaking of salt, this recipe calls for added salt so opt for a reduced sodium baking powder. And who doesn’t love rosemary, it’s seriously heavenly.
I read a tip somewhere to aerate the flour (aka sift through your hands) prior to mixing in any of the other ingredients. Did this help? I’m not 100% sure but I did it and I’ll most likely do it again the next go around too. One of the biggest things I noticed was that the dough is very crumbly, but I rolled with it, and shaped it in to a ball once I placed it in the cast iron skillet.
Because of the crumbly dough, the soda bread comes out very organically shaped. See the cracks and the bumps? Oh, I’m in love with the misshappeness of it. Brushing melted butter along the outside during the last ten minutes results in that crusty outside and a thick slightly gooey inside.
It’s rich and hearty, bursting rosemary flavor.
Savory Rosemary Irish Soda Bread
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
- 1 teaspoon low sodium baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped chives
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons grass fed Irish butter
- extra kosher salt, black pepper, and rosemary for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Add flour to a large mixing bowl and aerate with your hands. Mix in baking soda, salt, black pepper, and rosemary. Make a well in the middle and pour in buttermilk, add chives. Mix gently with a spoon, be careful not to over stir.
Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Very lightly knead in a small amount of flour just until the dough is no longer sticky. Begin to form in to a ball, don’t worry if it doesn’t make a perfect ball shape. Dough will me slightly crumbly.
Grease a cast iron skillet with butter, place in dough ball and mold for roundness. Using a knife cut a 1 inch X on top of the dough. Bake for 25 minutes.
Slather outter top crust with melted butter and season with rosemary, kosher salt, and pepper. Cook an additional 10 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Drape a damp tea towel over to soften the crust just a tad, don’t worry there will still be a nice crunch!
Slice and serve warm with butter.
*This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission for any sales made using them. The cost to you does not change. Thank you for your support! Read the full disclosure policy here.
Enjoy this recipe? Share it with others!