Irish Soda Bread sprinkled with Pumpkin Seeds & Dried Cranberry

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My boyfriend is from Ireland and is missing some of his home comforts so I thought I’d cook some traditional Irish food in celebration of St. Patrick’s day! For this Irish soda bread, I looked at a bunch of recipes to get a good idea of what ingredients gives soda bread its unique taste and texture. It seems many chefs have experimented with different ingredients; Ramsay had recently posted some mini loaves using beer as the raising agent which looked pretty snazzy. However, I just wanted to keep my recipe simple. Irish Soda Bread is made with very basic ingredients since it roots back to Ireland’s times of austerity. The buttermilk gives the bread its unique flavour and counteracts with the bicarbonate of soda to activate the raising process. As with all traditional recipes, you can’t digress too far from the original ingredients otherwise the authenticity is somewhat lost. I didn’t want to make a huge loaf, so this recipe makes enough for 4 rolls. I seasoned my dough with a little Thyme which added quite a nice dynamic to the flavour, and also sprinkled over some pumpkin seeds and dried cranberry, which added a little crunchy sweetness to each bite.

I served these rolls with my Traditional Irish Stew with Jackfruit, but they’re just as satisfying on their own with a knob of butter. Either way, Irish soda bread is best served fresh from the oven. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5-10 mins | Cooking Time: 40 mins | Serves: 4 rolls

Ingredients final

100g of Self Raising flour

100g Wholemeal bread flour

100g Rolled oats

1 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda

½ teaspoon of Thyme

50g Stalk margarine/ butter

200ml Buttermilk

Pumpkin seeds

Dried Cranberry

Method final

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and put to one side.
  3. Remember to wash your hands before doing the following steps.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (not including the thyme, seeds and dried cranberry).
  5. Then evenly rub in the butter using your fingers until the mixture more or less resembles bread crumbs.
  6. Mix in the Thyme.
  7. Pour in the buttermilk gradually, gently folding it into the dry ingredients as you go using a baking spatula.
  8. At this point the dough will be very sticky, so wet your hands prior to moulding to make it easier.
  9. Mould the dough into 4 even rolls.
  10. Place the rolls on the baking tray and score each twice using a wet knife.
  11. Sprinkle over some pumpkin seeds and dried cranberry on each roll, applying a little pressure to ensure they stick.
  12. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until golden and the bottoms of each roll sounds hollow when tapped.
  13. Serve warm with some butter & enjoy!