This Irish Soda Bread recipe is designed for everyone—from the seasoned baker to the curious novice looking to dip their toes into the world of bread-making. It’s straightforward, requiring no yeast or extensive kneading, and is incredibly versatile, perfect for a cozy morning breakfast, a hearty lunch or a comforting dinner side.
What is Irish Soda Bread?
Irish Soda Bread, a timeless classic from the Emerald Isle, has long enchanted both bakers and bread lovers with its simplicity, rustic charm and delightful taste. Traditionally made with just a few basic ingredients—flour, baking soda, buttermilk and salt—this bread is a testament to the ingenuity of Irish cooks making the most out of limited resources.
As we become more health-conscious, the quest for healthier alternatives to our beloved classics has never been more relevant. In this spirit, we’re excited to share a healthier version of the traditional Irish Soda Bread that not only pays homage to its rich heritage but also caters to our modern nutritional needs.
Just a few easy ingredients (think whole wheat flour, unsweetened almond milk, baking powder and baking soda) are all that’s needed to pull together this warm and tasty Irish Soda Bread recipe. The soft and hearty consistency of this bread is topped only by the accents of orange zest, lemon juice and plump, juicy raisins.
Whether you’re a fan of traditional Irish cuisine, looking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with authenticity, or simply in search of a wholesome, easy-to-make bread, this healthy Irish Soda Bread recipe promises to deliver all the rustic charm of the classic with a modern, nutritious twist. Let’s embark on this baking journey together, transforming simple ingredients into a loaf that’s not only heartwarming and delicious but also good for your health.
How to Make Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread, a beloved traditional favorite, offers a delightful experience with each bite, and this recipe brings a healthier twist to the classic, making it a perfect fit for anyone looking to indulge without compromise.
Serving up to 10 people and clocking in at just 109 calories per serving, this version is not only lighter but also aligns with Nutrisystem guidelines. You can log it as one SmartCarb in the NuMi app, ensuring you can enjoy this treat while staying on track with your weight loss goals.
Wholesome Ingredients for a Nutritious Loaf
Crafted with wholesome ingredients, the recipe calls for a teaspoon of canola oil, a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a tablespoon of lemon juice, which, when mixed together, create a base that’s both flavorful and nutritious.
The dry mix includes two cups of white whole wheat flour, rich in fiber, along with two teaspoons of baking powder, half of a teaspoon of baking soda, and half of a teaspoon of salt for the perfect rise and texture.
The finely grated zest of one orange and a half-cup of raisins are stirred into the mix, introducing a vibrant burst of flavor and sweetness that complements the bread’s hearty base beautifully.
Easy Step-by-Step Baking Guide
The preparation process is as simple as it is satisfying. Begin by preheating your oven to four hundred degrees Fahrenheit and lightly greasing a nine-inch cast iron pan with the canola oil, though a casserole dish or baking sheet will suffice if a cast iron pan is not available. Combine the vanilla almond milk with lemon juice and set aside for a few minutes to curdle, a crucial step that adds tenderness to the bread.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest before adding the raisins. Creating a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the curdled almond milk, then stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. As the dough begins to form, use your hands to bring it together, embracing its sticky texture.
Baking and Serving Your Soda Bread
Shape the dough into a ball and slightly press down the top before scoring it with a quarter-inch-deep X, a traditional touch that not only adds to its rustic charm but also aids in the baking process. Place the dough in the oiled pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, signaling it’s perfectly baked.
After cooling in the pan for five minutes, transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool completely, ensuring it’s at its best texture and flavor for serving. While this Irish Soda Bread is most delightful when enjoyed fresh, it can easily be warmed in the oven for a later treat, preserving its delicious taste and comforting warmth.
Perfect Pairings: How to Serve Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread is a versatile bread that pairs beautifully with a wide array of foods. Whether you’re looking to enjoy this bread as part of a hearty breakfast, a satisfying lunch or a comforting dinner, there are countless ways to complement its flavors and make your meal even more memorable.
Here are some delicious ideas for how to serve your Irish Soda Bread, transforming it from a simple loaf into a centerpiece of a feast.
For Breakfast: A Sweet and Savory Start
Start your day on a high note by serving slices of Irish Soda Bread toasted and slathered with butter or a rich fruit jam. The bread’s subtle sweetness, especially from the orange zest and raisins, pairs wonderfully with the creaminess of butter or the fruity burst of jam.
For a more savory option, top it with a poached egg and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. The bread’s dense texture makes it an ideal base for holding up to the runny yolk.
For Lunch: A Light and Refreshing Companion
Irish Soda Bread makes a fantastic accompaniment to your lunchtime soups and salads. Its hearty nature complements both light, brothy soups and thick, creamy ones, providing a satisfying crunch. Pair it with a simple green salad dressed in vinaigrette, and the bread will absorb the dressing beautifully, adding a pleasant heft to your meal.
For Dinner: Enhancing the Main Course
Elevate your dinner by serving Irish Soda Bread alongside your main dishes. It pairs excellently with stews, casseroles, and corned beef and cabbage, acting as a sponge to soak up all the delicious sauces and gravies.
Alternatively, use it to add a rustic touch to your cheese and charcuterie boards. The bread’s nutty flavor and hearty texture make it a perfect match for a variety of cheeses, from sharp cheddar to creamy brie, as well as cured meats.
For Dessert: A Sweet Ending
Irish Soda Bread can even transition into dessert. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of honey for a simple yet satisfying sweet treat. Or, toast slices of the bread and top them with a scoop of ice cream and some fresh berries for a delightful contrast of warm bread and cold ice cream.
No matter how you choose to enjoy it, Irish Soda Bread offers endless possibilities for pairing, ensuring that each meal is not only nourishing but also incredibly enjoyable. With these serving suggestions, your healthy Irish Soda Bread will become a versatile staple that enhances every meal, from the first bite of breakfast to the last crumb of dessert. Refer to the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide for more information on counting add-ins.
Calories per Serving: 109
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb
- 1 tsp. canola oil
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- ½ cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9” cast iron pan with 1 tsp. oil (if you don’t have a cast iron pan, use a casserole dish or baking sheet).
- Mix together vanilla almond milk and lemon juice. Set aside to curdle.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest. Stir in raisins.
- Make a well in the center and add the curdled almond milk. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula and then use your hands to bring the dough together. It will feel sticky.
- Make a ball out of the dough and then press the top down slightly. Using a knife, score the top with a ¼”-deep X and place the dough in the oiled pan.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom of it.
- Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Bread tastes best the day of, but if eating later, warm in the oven before enjoying.