Irish Bacon Cheddar Soda Bread

Saint Patrick’s Day is around the corner. Why not make some Irish Bacon Cheddar Soda Bread?I attended my monthly class at Grace Marie’s Cooking School at Bristol Farms last week. For those of you who have been following my blog, you know that I post my favorite items from her class in my food section. I like that I can watch how she prepares the food and also taste it before I attempt the recipe on my own.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, everything on the menu was Irish. I wasn’t familiar with soda bread until taking Grace Marie’s class, and I loved this version she made.

Soda bread is a variety of quick bread in which baking soda is used as a rising agent instead of traditional yeast. The main ingredients of soda bread are flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The buttermilk in the dough contains lactic acid, which reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. An advantage of soda breads is their ability to be prepared quickly.

Irish soda bread can be made in many forms. You can make it savory like this recipe, or sweet by adding dried fruit and extra sugar. The bread is delicious made plain, too!

Irish Bacon Cheddar Soda Bread Ingredients

  • 3 cups      All Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups      Dubliner Cheddar Cheese or any Sharp Cheese – shred or grate (already shredded will not cook well due to waxy covering)
  • 2Tbs         Granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp         Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp         Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp     Cracked or Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 large     Egg (room temperature for 1 hour)
  • 4 Tbs       Unsalted Butter – melt and cool (melt in microwave for 20 seconds)

Ingredients

Measured out ingredients

Directions

My older son made a video to show you how to make the bread! It is so easy, guys. Your kids can do it.

Prep time is about 15 minutes. Cooking time – 30ish minutes. 

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine and whisk in a bowl… the flour, bacon, cheese, sugar, baking soda, salt and pepper.
  3. Combine and blend in a bowl… the buttermilk, egg, and butter.
  4. Drizzle over the flour mixture and stir/fold until a fairly moist and shaggy dough has been created.
  5. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface then gently knead into a rough loaf.
  6. Spit the loaf into two smaller loaves and place them onto the prepared pan.
  7. Dust the tops with flour, slice a 1/2″ deep “X” on the top.
  8. Set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes to rise slightly.
  9. Bake, uncovered, until the bread has risen and is golden brown on the top and bottom (30-33 minutes).
  10. Cool completely or wait at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Tips

  • Make sure to cut into two loaves as one large loaf may result in center not cooking through.
  • When adding ingredients like bacon or ham, don’t shred too small or the pieces will blend into the bread and it won’t be as tasty.
  • You can substitute or add whatever you want. Meat, spices, fruit, fresh herbs – whatever you like the taste of!
  • I omitted the pepper since kids were eating (they are picky).
  • Buttermilk- don’t get super fresh/organic kind that clumps/separates as it may affect the dough texture. Get smooth creamy kind.
  • Bread is best served fresh out of the oven!

Enjoy the Irish Bacon Cheddar Soda Bread! And let me know how it turns out for you? I would love to hear!

Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A lifestyle blog by Jen Oliak.