History of Irish Soda Bread

In the early and mid 1800's, rural Ireland did not have a strong tradition of bread made by using yeast. All baking was done in the home and, in addition to having limited baking supplies, time was often at a premium. The use of baking soda as a leavening agent was quick, effective and it produced a much more consistent result than yeast did. It caught on quickly and made soda breads a staple of the Irish diet until commercial bread production began. Irish soda bread is still popular with the Irish, as well as with people of other nationalities from all over the world.

The original soda breads contained nothing more than flour, buttermilk, baking soda and salt. The buttermilk was leftover from the butter making process and the bread was almost always served with freshly churned butter. Today, the breads often contain additional ingredients such as sugar, butter, currants or caraway seeds, to enhance the flavor of the bread. Soda bread is heartier than most yeast breads and goes very well with soups, stews and meat dishes. The modern soda bread mixes are available for those with a busy schedule and are easy to make with a delicious result.

If you are looking for a soda bread recipe, we have several in our recipes section, as well as soda bread and brown soda bread mixes in our online store.

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