4 Ways To Make Soda Bread

Buckwheat Oat Soda Bread | In Jennie's Kitchen

Some days choosing what kind of bread to bake leaves me torn. I’m fond of my follies with sourdough starter, but also love making challah. This time of year, though, it’s kind of a no-brainer. While I’ve never been one to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, soda bread ranks up there as a favorite, and a great first foray into baking bread if starter and yeast feel too intimidating.

There are a lot of very inaccurate soda bread recipes out there, and by that I mean they’re not at all authentic. I’m all for artistic interpretations, but what I love most about soda bread is the science factor. Recipes that call for baking powder do not respect or have faith this wonderous process.

Nor should soda bread be sweet. It’s not meant to be a dessert-driven quick bread like, say, banana bread. Admittedly, some of my recipes call for a smidge of sugar, but really, a true soda bread should be nothing more than a combination of flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt.

Soda bread is a great recipe to make with kids, too, especially younger ones who want immediate gratification, or have less patience to wait for yeasted doughs to rise.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve made a few variations of soda bread, playing around with different flours. My first foray was with this Oat Soda Bread recipe. Next came Semolina Soda Bread. A more traditional recipe for Irish Soda Bread followed a few years later, and more recently, I made this Buckwheat Soda Bread last year. Could I choose a favorite? I suppose if really pressed for one, the earthiness of buckwheat ranks high up there, but really all four are wonderful in their own right.

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