For many, Irish soda bread is simply the taste of home but the Irish staple recipe is also an international favorite.
The recipe was first introduced to Ireland during the 1840s. A traditional product of a poor country, soda bread was made with only the most basic of ingredients: flour, baking soda (instead of yeast), soured milk to moisten and activate the soda, and salt.
Soda bread (Irish: arán sóide, Scots: fardel, Serbian: česnica / чесница) is a variety of quick bread traditionally made in a variety of cuisines in which sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as “baking soda”) is used as a leavening agent instead of the traditional yeast. The ingredients of traditional soda bread are flour, bread 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. Other ingredients can be added such as butter, egg, raisins, or nuts. An advantage of quick breads is their ability to be prepared quickly and reliably, without requiring the time-consuming skilled labor and temperature control needed for traditional yeast breads.