Irish soda bread is a classic dish that’s far easier to make than the taste might lead you to believe. Adding in Guinness Extra Stout (the bottle not the can) brings a wonderful sweetness and depth that carries this simple bread recipe from good to great. That’s what we’re going to do today.
The recipe below is, as we said, super easy. You can make it while doing something else. The dough doesn’t need to kneaded. You don’t need to wait for the yeast to activate. It’s a quick bread — like Southern biscuits, scones, or frybread — and all you really need to do is fold some dry and wet ingredients into loose dough and bake it. Happy St. Paddy’s!
We’re adding some Guinness into the mix because we’re looking for a little more flavor and the iconic stout brings that. There’s a nice rich, malty, and even nutty energy to the Guinness. Plus, it doubles up on the Irish-ness of it all. Let’s dive in!
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Guinness Soda Bread
- 9 oz. flour
- 7 oz. wholewheat flour
- 5 oz. oats
- 0.5 oz. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup Guinness Extra Stout
- Extra oats
These are all pretty straightforward ingredients you can buy at any grocery store. The Guinness needs to specifically be the “Extra Stout” version that comes in regular beer bottles. You don’t want to use the bottles or cans of Guinness Draught that have the widget that makes it creamy. This calls for old-school Guinness. It’s slightly more bitter, malty, and hoppy. It’s a lot fizzier too, which adds some air to the soda bread.
What You’ll Need:
- Small loaf pan
- Baking paper
- Large mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Measuring cup and spoons
- Oven mitts
- Cooling rack
- Bread knife
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon to integrate.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a wooden spoon just until the dough comes together (pictured above). You don’t need to need or over mix the dough.
- Line the loaf pan with the baking paper, making sure the paper comes up over the edge of the pan on all sides.
- Spoon the dough into the pan and use the spoon to even it out.
- Sprinkle with more oats.
- Place the loaf pan into the preheated oven, right in the middle. Bake for five minutes and then lower the temperature to 350F and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the loaf pan from the oven. Gently remove the loaf from the pan by using the edges of the baking paper. Peel the paper from the loaf, it should come off easily.
- Let the loaf rest for ten minutes on the cooling rack before slicing.
One bite of this and all that I can think is “I miss Ireland.” There’s a lovely sweetness from the Guinness and honey that’s very subtle. It draws on the softness of the oats and robustness of the whole wheat.
I 100 percent ate the first slice of this with some nice Irish butter, which melted right into the crumb of the soda bread and got into all the nooks and crannies. It was fantastic. Next, I busted out some cold-smoked salmon and had a great lunch.
Not to belabor the point, but this took all of five minutes to get into the oven from start to finish. Then it’s just waiting for it to bake and slightly cool. It’s an easy bread to make as you work or do some house chores or stare at your phone. Plus, it’s really goddamn delicious still warm from the oven.
No cap: the whole loaf was gone within an hour.