Authentically Irish
Corned beef and cabbage may not quite be authentically Irish, but this soda bread comes pretty close.

Authentically Irish

Dsc 3786 Scaled

When considering a traditional dish in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, many go straight to corned beef and cabbage. Unfortunately, that’s more of an American tradition than authentic Irish. Guinness stew is amazing, but I’m not too sure how authentic that is either. So consider the basic yet essential Irish soda bread if you’re interested in authentic Irish food. It’s very simple, dense, and pretty tasty. I actually like to toast slices of it (thick ones, otherwise it falls apart), and butter liberally. When I thought of this, I instantly thought of George and Sandy Sullivan, who have been involved in the Northeastern SD Celtic Fair for many years. Sandy coordinated a soda bread contest at an early festival. She shares her favorite recipe with us here. //


  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg

Basting liquid

  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Grease 10” cast iron skillet (a baking sheet works fine, too).
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Cut in the butter, then stir in the buttermilk. Add the egg. Mix to combine.
  5. Flour a work surface, turn out the dough and knead for three minutes.
  6. Create a flat mound shape, about 10 inches across and transfer to the skillet.
  7. Combine the basting liquid ingredients and baste loaf.
  8. Score the top, about half inch deep, in the shape of an X.
  9. Bake 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes. 
  10. Test with a toothpick. It’s done when the toothpick comes out clean. Start checking after the second basting.