Irish Soda Bread

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A couple of weeks ago, I discovered a package of King Arthur Irish Style Wholemeal Flour that had found its way to the back of one of our baking cupboards. It was a little past its expiration date, but I hate to throw stuff out that is still mostly usable, so I decided to follow the Irish Brown Bread recipe on the bag (since I had originally purchased it to bake and share with an Irish friend of mine, who baked and ate his half of the flour order long before that expiration date).

Needless to say, the bread came out wonderfully. It was almost like a scone (once I slathered it with a generous helping of Irish butter), with a wonderful nutty flavor. It was certainly one of the better 100% whole wheat breads I’ve eaten in awhile, and I expect to be acquiring more of this great flour soon so I can make more.

Note to King Arthur Flour (since I know at least someone from your company reads this blog): The instructions said to “cut a deep cross in the top of the loaf” (before baking). To me, that meant that I made a nice round ball and cut a cross about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way through it, expecting that it would expand and close up like a yeasted loaf might. However, the end result was a loaf with four separate pyramid-like peaks. Granted, I think that it looked really cool, but it made for poorly shaped slices.

11 thoughts on “Irish Soda Bread

  1. Daily Spud

    We don’t get King Arthur flour here in Ireland but what we do have is a most wonderful nutty wholemeal flour called Abbey Stoneground. It’s the stuff of legend, Elizabeth David having praised it in her classic bread book, no less. It is superb for soda bread, some of which I made just this past weekend. (Unfortunately, I doubt that Abbey Stoneground available in the US…)

    BTW having the bread end up with 4 separate ‘peaks’ like that is the classic Irish soda bread shape – by no means a King Arthur invention, most soda bread recipes will tell you to do likewise!

  2. Allison

    Thanks for using King Arthur Flour! If you ever have a question or want to provide some feedback directly to us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send an email to [email protected]. Happy baking! – Allison

  3. Chef E

    Looks great to me, but maybe that was before the expiration date, and it would have done what it was suppose to do? I also am a person who needs a blow by blow pictorial before I bake, lol, so ignore me!

    Oh I just read Daily Spud, and she would know…

  4. Baker Bee

    Chef E, the expiration would only apply to the natural oils present in the whole wheat (if this was white flour, the extra time would actually be seen by some as a benefit). The oils in wheat flour can go rancid if they’re left out too long (which is why you’re supposed to keep it in the freezer, and why I usually grind my own whole wheat flour rather than buy it).

    In the case of the “deep cross”, I just had a different interpretation than the recipe’s author. To me, “deep” meant 2 inches (in a 4 inch thick loaf), when I probably should have done a standard 1/2 inch slash (or so).

  5. Baker Bee

    Daily Spud, thanks for the info on the shape. I completely missed that part of your comment until Tiger pointed it out to me. Glad to know that I actually was following the instructions correctly. And my apologies to the KA folks for thinking they messed up the instructions!

  6. Joie de vivre

    I’m so glad to read your review! I hadn’t heard of this flour until a few days ago it was mentioned on the King Arthur Flour Blog. I’m glad to hear it was worth it!

  7. Ricardo

    My wife is Irish descendant and this bread just is the best one I’ve seen in this genre. well done. 😀

  8. Y

    Oh that looks yummy! I’m about to bake a similar loaf too, to have with soup. Wish I could get a similar flour here!

    Y’s latest blog post: Oh Fudge!

    1. The Other Tiger

      It was really good with soup! I don’t know where you’re at, but we just ordered ours online from King Arthur Flour. We’re hoping to find it somewhere locally, though!

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