This simple and delicious Irish Soda Bread with Dates recipe is incredibly easy to make with a soft, dense crumb and tasty crust. It requires no rising time and is fantastic slathered in rich Irish butter.
This recipe for Irish soda bread comes together quickly using simple classic ingredients. The addition of sweet California dates makes for a delectable bite that is perfect slathered in creamy Irish butter. Enjoy!
What is soda bread?
Soda bread is a variety of quick bread in which sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) is used as a leavening agent instead of the more traditional yeast.
This means soda bread recipes require no rise time and typically have a denser crumb than yeasted breads.
The traditional ingredients in Irish soda bread are flour, buttermilk, baking soda and salt.
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- Egg (optional): This recipe will work without the egg but I like the addition for added texture.
- All purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Mixing bowls: I love these glass Pyrex mixing bowls!
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Baking sheet with parchment paper
- Aluminum Foil (optional): To cover the bread while baking if the crust begins to look too dark.
I love the flavor dates give to this traditional bread but if you don't have any on hand you can substitute with raisins, craisins or other dried fruit.
You can easily make your own "buttermilk" by combining acid with regular milk. Simply add 1 tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar to a 1 cup measuring glass and then top up with milk. Let it set for a few minutes and Wala! Buttermilk!
*Note* You cannot substitute regular milk for buttermilk in this recipe as the additional acid is needed to activate the baking soda which allows the bread to rise.
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Mades this Irish Soda Bread with Dates recipe? Let me know what you think in the comments.
Irish Soda Bread with Dates
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Aluminum foil (optional) to prevent over-browning of the crust
- 1.75 cups buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
- 1 cup chopped dates
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium size mixing bowl add buttermilk and 1 egg (if using). Whisk until well combined and set aside.
- In another mixing bowl add flour, baking soda, salt and sugar and mix until combined. Create a well in the center of the flour and then pour in the buttermilk and egg mixture. Use your hands to gently knead the mixture together until a sticky dough is formed.
- Lay the dough out onto a floured surface and press flat with your hands.Add about half of the chopped dates and gently press into the dough. Then fold into the dough until mixed throughout. Flatten the dough again and repeat the process with the remaining dates.
- Form the dough into a round shape and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to carefully score an X into the top.
- Bake at 425 for 40-45 minutes. *You can loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil is the crust begins to look too dark. I typically put foil on about half to ¾ths of the way through.*When the crust is golden brown the center is cooked through you can remove from the oven. Allow the bread to cool for 10-15 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack.
- Serve the bread warm slathered with good quality Irish butter. Enjoy!