Irish Soda Bread

Irish soda bread has a crisp crust and tender crumb, begging for butter. Make this recipe in one hour with simple ingredients!

The post Irish Soda Bread appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

Irish soda bread has a crisp crust and tender crumb, begging for butter. Make this recipe in one hour with simple ingredients!

A loaf of Irish soda bread sliced.

Following the lead of the traditional Irish recipe, we are making a simple bread that comes together quickly with just a few ingredients.

We get the same crispy outer crust and tender inner crumb, but amp it up with a little richness. It’s perfect for pairing with my Guiness Beef Stew on St. Patrick’s Day (or any day, really)!

I’ve made a ton of variations on traditional Irish soda bread over the years – scones, brown bread, whiskey soda bread with Irish whiskey butter, and rye soda bread – however, this original classic version continues to be my absolute favorite. It bakes up with a fabulous crisp crust and a light, tender crumb. It’s the perfect vehicle for slathering on embarrassing amounts of Kerrygold butter.

Loaf of Irish soda bread with butter and jam.

What is Irish soda bread

This easy bread is considered an iconic Irish recipe, like Shepherd’s Pie and corned beef.

It’s an adaptation of a quick bread developed by American settlers in the 1700s. The American version was made with potash – a precursor to modern-day baking soda.

By the mid-1800s, sodium bicarbonate (the scientific name for baking soda) became commercially available in Europe and Irish soda bread was born.

In Ireland, the traditional soda bread recipe contains only four ingredients:

  1. Baking soda
  2. Salt
  3. Buttermilk
  4. Low-Protein Flour

They are mixed together just until a rough dough forms and baked golden brown.

The resulting bread has a crispy exterior and soft, tender interior. It welcomes butter and is perfect for sopping up a delicious stew.

Ingredients for Irish soda bread mise en place.

The Ingredients

  • Flour – One of the main differences in a classic soda bread recipe and the ingredients in this one is the flour. The wheat produced in Ireland was low in protein. Being low in protein meant it didn’t have enough structure to work well with yeast in bread recipes. This being said, the flour was much softer, so it did work marvelously with baking soda!These days, all-purpose flour has a higher protein than the flour in the traditional bread. As a result, we will add some cake flour, which has a lower protein count. Blending cake flour with all-purpose provides the perfect protein ratio for this bread.
  • Acidity – The traditional recipe relies on buttermilk reacting with baking soda to create the leavener. This recipe boosts it with the addition of cream of tartar.
  • Sugar – There’s a small amount of sugar in this recipe. Not much, just two tablespoons. This helps balance out the saltiness from both the salt and baking soda.
  • Butter – This recipe calls for the addition of butter. Butter gives the bread extra richness, more flavor, and a softer crumb.

Side by side photos of Irish soda bread batter being mixed together.

How to make Irish soda bread

Because this is a “quick bread” recipe, the process is very easy and only takes about ten minutes!

  1. Prepare the Oven
    Preheat your oven to 400°F. Also, adjust the rack to the middle-top position, to ensure you get a beautiful golden-brown crust.
  2. Prepare the Base
    Break out a large mixing bowl, and dump in your dry ingredients: flours, salt, sugar, and cream of tartar. Whisk them together with a fork, and then add the softened butter.
    Use the back of your fork or your fingers to smush the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  3. Make the Dough
    Use your fork to stir in the buttermilk just until the dough comes together. Turn it out onto a well-floured counter and gently work the dough until it’s bumpy and cohesive.
    Form it into a 6” disc, place onto a 12” cast iron skillet or parchment-lined baking sheet. Score the top of your loaf with an X so that it can expand in the oven.
  4. Bake the Bread
    Place the loaf in your preheated oven and bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The interior should be 180°F when read with an instant-read thermometer. Baking should take 40-45 minutes.
    Brush the loaf with your melted butter and allow it to cool completely (about 30-40 minutes) before slicing, serving, and enjoying!

A loaf of baked Irish soda bread in a cast iron skillet.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • For the quickest bread make sure to have all your ingredients measured and in place before you begin.
  • Do not knead the dough until it is smooth. Stop once it is lumpy and cohesive – about 12-14 turns. If you knead it until it’s smooth, your finished bread will be tough.
  • Use a cast-iron skillet for the crispiest crust. A baking sheet will work fine, but there’s something magical about cast iron.
  • To store the bread wrap it well in plastic wrap and keep it at room temperature for up to three days.
  • Reheat slices of the bread in a toaster oven at 350F until the outside is crisp.

Sliced Irish soda bread

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Irish Soda Bread

Irish soda bread has a crisp crust and tender crumb, begging for butter. Make this recipe in one hour with simple ingredients!
Course Bread
Cuisine American, Irish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 servings (1 loaf)
Calories 203kcal
Author Michelle

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • teaspoons cream of tartar
  • teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted

Instructions

  • Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Work the softened butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or your fingertips until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add the buttermilk and stir with a fork just until the dough begins to come together. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead just until the dough becomes cohesive and bumpy, 12 to 14 turns. (Do not knead until the dough is smooth, or the bread will turn out tough.)
  • Pat the dough into a round about 6 inches in diameter and 2 inches high; place on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Score the dough by cutting a cross shape on the top of the loaf.
  • Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, or the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F on an instead-read thermometer, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and brush the surface with the melted butter. Cool to room temperature before slicing, about 30 to 40 minutes. Leftovers should be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Notes

Nutritional values are based on one serving

Nutrition

Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 460mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Originally published in 2009, this has been updated to include new photos and more in-depth recipe tips.

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]

The post Irish Soda Bread appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

Irish Stout Beef Stew with Herbed Dumplings.

I’m cruising into the week with a hearty irish beef stew! That has DUMPLINGS. Omg. Before spring hits us in full force, I must sneak in one more serious comfort food. Because it’s everything. And that’s what we have here. Serious comfort food. Cue all the exclamation points! You guys LOVE my guinness short ribs […]

The post Irish Stout Beef Stew with Herbed Dumplings. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

I’m cruising into the week with a hearty irish beef stew! That has DUMPLINGS. Omg.

My new favorite soup! Irish stout beef stew is flavorful and hearty and topped with delicious herb dumplings. Perfect comfort food.

Before spring hits us in full force, I must sneak in one more serious comfort food. Because it’s everything. And that’s what we have here.

Serious

comfort

food.

Cue all the exclamation points!

irish stew ingredients

You guys LOVE my guinness short ribs and guinness pot pie with beer bread biscuits. I knew I wanted to make one more delicious stout infused recipe for saint patrick’s day – and why not do a play on one of theeee most popular recipes on the blog: chicken and dumplings! Also one of my personal favorites.

P.S. this might just be the last soup of the season?! Kind of makes me sad but oh man am I ready for SUNSHINE and spring. 

My new favorite soup! Irish stout beef stew is flavorful and hearty and topped with delicious herb dumplings. Perfect comfort food.

But let’s take a back a minute. To some cool and chilly weather that will no doubt rear its ugly head here. And to a delish recipe for Saint Patrick’s Day. Frankly, it can work anytime of year, but it will be super good next week.

Just sayin’.

stew dumplings

So the base of this stew is ridiculously flavorful. Onions, potatoes, carrots – the works, hit with a bunch of seasonings and cooked with tomato paste until deep and rich and caramely in flavor. And color. This might be the best base for any stew I’ve ever made.

Next up, we use a bit of beer and a lot of beef stock, the beef itself and a few more herbs.

The result is a silky, rich, decadent stew. And to make it even more rich? Let’s just go ahead and add some bread right there in our stew. Oops! 

My new favorite soup! Irish stout beef stew is flavorful and hearty and topped with delicious herb dumplings. Perfect comfort food.

Finally, the dumplings.

The herbed dumplings are so good. What I love about these are that you can truly make them any size you wish. Do super mini dumpling dough balls or big ones that you can split in half. 

Melts in your mouth!

My new favorite soup! Irish stout beef stew is flavorful and hearty and topped with delicious herb dumplings. Perfect comfort food.

Actually this entire bowl will melt in your mouth. The veggies are soft, the beef is tender. The broth is silky and smooth. It’s obviously a complete meal already, but adding in those dumplings? It’s the epitome of comfort and satiety.

The perfect bowl of love for your Monday!

My new favorite soup! Irish stout beef stew is flavorful and hearty and topped with delicious herb dumplings. Perfect comfort food.

Irish Beef Stew with Herbed Dumplings

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Irish Stout Beef Stew with Herbed Dumplings

My new favorite soup! Irish stout beef stew is flavorful and hearty and topped with delicious herb dumplings. Perfect comfort food.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into pieces
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 baby yukon gold potatoes, halved
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 ounces stout beer, like guinness
  • 4 cups beef stock

herb dumplings

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary or thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Instructions

  • Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add the oil. Toss the beef piece with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then toss them with the flour so all the pieces are coated.
  • Add the beef to the pot and sear until each side is golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. You may need to do this in batches. Remove the beef pieces with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate until ready to use.
  • To the same pot, toss in the butter, onions and garlic. Stir and toss, scraping the bottom so you remove some of the brown bits of flavor from the beef. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Stir in the potatoes and carrots with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and make sure all the pieces are coated. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes to develop the flavor, stirring often so the tomato paste doesn’t burn on the bottom. Add the beef back to the pot.
  • Pour in the stout to deglaze the pan. Stir to release any more bits of flavor from the bottom. Stir in the beef stock. Add a sprig of thyme or rosemary to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 to 60 minutes, until the beef is tender and falling apart. You can simmer it for even longer as long as it’s covered! I like to taste it here and see if it needs any additional salt and pepper. If so, add it!
  • To make the dumplings, whisk together the flour, baking powder, herbs and salt in a large bowl. Combine the milk and the eggs, then stir into the flour until just mixed. Set the mixture aside for 10 minutes.
  • Once the beef is tender, uncover the soup and add spoonfuls of the dumpling dough directly to the broth. I don’t worry about crowding the pot and usually cover the entire top of the stew mixture. You want the mixture to be bubbling for 10 to 15 minutes so it cooks the dumplings – after 10 minutes I usually gently flip the dumplings over and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Serve the stew immediately with chopped parsley or rosemary, or both!

My new favorite soup! Irish stout beef stew is flavorful and hearty and topped with delicious herb dumplings. Perfect comfort food.

Dumpling pillows for life.

The post Irish Stout Beef Stew with Herbed Dumplings. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Grasshopper Pie Recipe

Grasshopper pie is a no-bake mint-chocolate pie spiked with crème de menthe and layered on an Oreo crust. Your go-to St. Patrick’s Day dessert!

The post Grasshopper Pie Recipe appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

Grasshopper pie, named for its bright green color, is a rich yet refreshing dessert. This no-bake pie recipe is festive, quick to make and requires just a few ingredients. It features a silky smooth filling spiked with crème de menthe and crème de cacao, nestled into an Oreo cookie crust. Grasshopper pie will be your go-to St. Patrick’s Day dessert!

A grasshopper pie with a slice removed and another cut away from the whole pie.

Growing up, I’m not sure anything was better than going out to eat at Olive Garden and having Andes mints get strewn on the table along with the check at the end of the meal. I loved those little mint chocolate candies and would try to steal as many as I could.

I’ve always loved the combination of smooth chocolate and refreshing mint, so it came as no surprise that I loved my first grasshopper cocktail when I tried it in college. Fast forward a few more years and I fell in love all over again with this grasshopper pie.

An overhead photo of grasshopper pie with whipped cream around the border.

Perfect for a holiday celebration

The filling in grasshopper pie is such a festive green color that it’s sure to bring out your St. Patrick’s Day spirit. It doesn’t hurt that the added liqueur makes for a boozy treat with all the flavors of a grasshopper cocktail.

You don’t have to stop there, though. Not only does this make a great St. Patrick’s Day pie, but it would also be wonderfully refreshing during the summer, and festive enough for the winter holidays.

What you’ll need…

This recipe doesn’t use too many ingredients, and you may already have many of them in your kitchen.

  • One package of Cool Mint Oreos
  • Green crème de menthe
  • White crème de cacao
  • Unflavored gelatin
  • Heavy cream
  • Egg yolks
  • Melted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt

There is a total infusion of chocolate and mint flavors in this pie, which begins with the crust. Instead of using a plain ol’ chocolate cookie crumb crust, Cool Mint Oreos are used for an even bigger pop of flavor. Add to that a healthy dose of crème de menthe and crème de cacao, and you have a perfectly balanced, fantastic-tasting pie.

The texture of the filling is a cross between a meringue, a Jell-O dessert, and a cream pie. It’s smooth, creamy, light and airy. The best part about this mint-flavored pie is that it has a gelatin-based filling instead of the traditional marshmallow creme. This substitution makes for a smoother consistency and a bolder mint flavor in the filling.

Step-by-step photos of making grasshopper pie filling.

Liquer vs. food extract

While both ingredients are alcohol-based, liqueur tends to have a more natural flavor than extracts do. Because the overall flavor is also less intense, you can use more liqueur without compromising the texture of the filling like other liquids might.

White crème de cacao, in particular, has a very unique flavor that is hard to find with extracts since it also has hints of vanilla.

Substitute for Crème de Menthe

Crème de menthe is a mint-flavored liqueur that is 50 percent alcohol by volume. The alcohol does not cook out, so it’s important to note that, as written, this recipe is not kid-friendly.

The good news is, there is a simple substitute! To make the grasshopper pie recipe non-alcoholic, omit the mint and chocolate liqueurs. Instead, use ½ teaspoon of pure peppermint extract and ½ cup of milk.

How to make grasshopper pie

It will take you less than an hour to assemble the pie. After that, it needs to chill for several more hours, or even overnight.

  1. Make the Oreo crust: Stir together the crushed cookies and melted butter, press into the pie plate, refrigerate briefly, then bake. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. Prepare the filling: The gelatin mixture requires a few different steps to complete. Once that’s done, refrigerate until it reaches the right consistency, stirring occasionally. Then beat the remaining heavy cream to stiff peaks and fold into the gelatin mixture to finish off your filling.
  3. Assemble your pie: Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell and smooth out the top.
  4. Chill and serve: Refrigerate until firm, then top with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

Folding whipped cream into grasshopper pie filling.

Recipe FAQs, Tips & Tricks:

  • If you can’t find Cool Mint Oreos, you can use regular or homemade Oreos for the crust.
  • Use a glass cup or measuring cup to press the crust into the bottom of the pie plate to make sure it’s tightly packed.
  • Do I use the cookie and the cream filling, or just the cookie? You’ll want to use the whole Oreo to get the right consistency for the crust. Plus the mint filling in the cookie will add extra mint flavor to your grasshopper pie.
  • No-bake version of the crust: You can make the crust no-bake as well. Increase the butter amount to ¼ cup and make sure the crust is fully chilled before adding your filling.
  • Make-Ahead Crust: You can make the crust ahead of time (or several at once), then store them in the freezer for later use. If you’ll be storing for longer than a few days, cover with aluminum foil and then wrap the pie crust in plastic wrap. It should keep well frozen for 2 to 3 months.
  • Because the filling is no-bake, there is no way to cook off the alcohol. Please keep this in mind if you plan to serve it to children or anyone who can’t have alcohol.
  • To make a non-alcoholic version: Omit the creme de cacao and creme de menthe and replace with ½ teaspoon mint extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and ½ cup milk.
  • Storage: Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Be sure to cover with plastic wrap to preserve flavor and keep it fresh.
  • Freezing Instructions: This pie freezes well! Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. You can slice and serve frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or allow to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.

A slice of grasshopper pie on a plate with a fork.

If you’re looking for more tasty chocolate and mint combinations, try my No-Bake Mint Chocolate Chip Pie recipe, Grasshopper Chocolate Bark, and Grasshopper Brownies.

I hope you’ll put this on your menu for St. Patrick’s Day, a summer get-together, or Christmas! If you make it, I’d love if you would take a moment to stop back and share a review below. ENJOY! 😍

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Grasshopper Pie Recipe

Grasshopper pie is a no-bake mint-chocolate pie spiked with crème de menthe and layered on an Oreo crust. Your go-to St. Patrick’s Day dessert!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling time 7 hours
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 536kcal
Author Michelle

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 24 Cool Mint Oreo cookies crushed into crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled

For the Filling:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream divided
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ cup green crème de menthe
  • ¼ cup white crème de cacao

Instructions

  • Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the Oreo cookie crumbs and the melted butter in a medium bowl and toss with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch pie plate. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, forming a crust. Refrigerate the lined pie plate for 20 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, until the crust is fragrant and set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until foamy, about 30 seconds. Stir together the gelatin, sugar, ½ cup of the heavy cream and the salt in a medium saucepan and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Cook over medium heat until the gelatin dissolves and the mixture is very hot but not boiling, about 2 minutes. Whisking continuously, slowly drizzle the gelatin mixture into egg yolks. Return mixture to saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème de menthe and crème de cacao. Pour into a large bowl and refrigerate, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until it thickens to a wobbly consistency, about 20 minutes.
  • Beat the remaining 1½ cups heavy cream on medium-high speed until it holds stiff peaks. Gently whisk 1 cup of the whipped cream into the gelatin mixture until completely incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining whipped cream into the gelatin mixture until no streaks of white remain. Scrape the mixture into the cooled pie shell, smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. Serve with whipped cream and topped with chocolate curls, if desired.

Notes

  • If you can’t find Cool Mint Oreos, you can use regular or homemade Oreos for the crust.
  • Use a glass cup or measuring cup to press the crust into the bottom of the pie plate to make sure it’s tightly packed.
  • Do I use the cookie and the cream filling, or just the cookie? You’ll want to use the whole Oreo to get the right consistency for the crust. Plus the mint filling in the cookie will add extra mint flavor to your grasshopper pie.
  • No-bake version of the crust: You can make the crust no-bake as well. Increase the butter amount to ¼ cup and make sure the crust is fully chilled before adding your filling.
  • Make-Ahead Crust: You can make the crust ahead of time (or several at once), then store them in the freezer for later use. If you’ll be storing for longer than a few days, cover with aluminum foil and then wrap the pie crust in plastic wrap. It should keep well frozen for 2 to 3 months.
  • Because the filling is no-bake, there is no way to cook off the alcohol. Please keep this in mind if you plan to serve it to children or anyone who can’t have alcohol.
  • To make a non-alcoholic version: Omit the creme de cacao and creme de menthe and replace with ½ teaspoon mint extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and ½ cup milk.
  • Storage: Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Be sure to cover with plastic wrap to preserve flavor and keep it fresh.
  • Freezing Instructions: This pie freezes well! Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. You can slice and serve frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or allow to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.
Nutritional values are based on one serving

Nutrition

Calories: 536kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 1105IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 3.3mg

(Recipe adapted from Cook’s Country, originally seen on The Galley Gourmet)

Originally published in 2013, this has been updated to include new photos and more in-depth recipe instructions.

[photos by Dee of One Sarcastic Baker]

The post Grasshopper Pie Recipe appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

31 St. Patrick’s Day Treats We’d Be Lucky to Feast On

While everyone celebrates St. Patrick’s Day differently (parades, family dinners, you name it), come March 17 you’ll be most likely to find me in the kitchen, with a few friends, cooking up something special (corned beef and cabbage is always a go-to)….

While everyone celebrates St. Patrick's Day differently (parades, family dinners, you name it), come March 17 you'll be most likely to find me in the kitchen, with a few friends, cooking up something special (corned beef and cabbage is always a go-to). Oh, and something sweet, too.

From classic favorites (hello there, crumbly shortbread and fluffy bread pudding) to some not-so-traditional ideas (like creamy Guinness ice cream and bright-green cheesecake), here are 31 of our best St. Patrick's Day treats and dessert recipes.

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