Delicious Irish Soda Bread made with easy recipe

Easy Irish Soda Bread

Making bread is a fantastic way to get kids in the kitchen, learning about chemistry and science in a tasty, hands on way! We love baking fresh bread and have had a lot of fun exploring the science (chemistry specifically) behind bread and how different recipes create different tastes or textures in our loaf of bread. This time we are exploring Irish Soda Bread.

EASY IRISH SODA BREAD SCIENCE

Delicious Irish Soda Bread made with easy recipe

Disclaimer: This article may contain commission or affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Not seeing our videos? Turn off any adblockers to ensure our video feed can be seen. Thanks!

Irish Soda Bread History

There is some really cool history and science behind this Irish Soda Bread recipe. Irish means it comes from Ireland. Have you ever been to Ireland? Perhaps you have seen pictures or heard stories. If not, this is a great opportunity to learn a little bit about this amazing country as you make this delicious bread recipe.

Ireland is a country that gets a lot of rain. This makes their climate damp with high humidity. Under these conditions you can not grow a robust, protein rich wheat which we use for most yeast bread recipes. The wheat they grow in Ireland is called a soft wheat. When you use yeast to rise a bread dough made with soft wheat, the gas bubbles rupture, destroying the dough structure. This makes the bread deflate because the soft wheat doesn’t have the strength created by gluten to hold the bubbles.

We learned about the importance of gluten in our White Bread Loaf science lesson.

So what can we do to make a nice loaf of bread with soft wheat? Science is the answer and it’s a reaction we know all too well here at STEAM Powered Family. We’ve done lots of acid-base reaction experiments, and always have so much fun with them. Doing it to make a delicious, easy bread recipe? Now that is some awesome bread science!

Yeast Free Bread Science

So if we can’t use yeast to make our bread rise, what can we use? It’s true that most bread recipes use yeast as their leavening agent (to make it puff up and rise while baking), but there is a whole group of breads that use other leavening agents. In this Irish Soda Bread recipe the agent used is sodium bicarbonate combined with a weak acid, in this case buttermilk.

NOTE: Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is the term used in Ireland, so to stay true to form, we are going to use that term from now on. Just swap it out for baking soda if you live in North America.

In the sodium bicarbonate molecule there are 3 oxygen atoms, one carbon atom, one hydrogen atom and a sodium atom. Water will break down the bonds of these molecules and if you add an acid, like the lactic acid in buttermilk, a reaction occurs creating bubbles. These bubbles are actually trapped carbon dioxide gas (CO2), just like in our other acid base experiments. The carbon dioxide gas is what makes this Irish Soda Bread rise.

Irish Soda Bread

More Acid Base Reactions

We have done a lot of experimentation with acids and bases in the past. Just a few examples include Bottle Rockets, Hatching Dino Eggs, Magic Colour Changing Oobleck, Lemon Volcanoes, Slime Volcano, and of course, Bath Bombs! We even did an entire experiment just testing acid and base reactions.

This type of chemistry reaction is always a hit with kids, so the idea that this lesson applies to this Irish Soda Bread recipe is sure to excite them! Everyone loves delicious, edible science.

Below, with the ingredients, I have included some books we have really enjoyed as we learn about chemistry in the kitchen.

So now that we have learned a bit about Ireland and some more really cool science, let’s make some delicious bread!

Easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe

INGREDIENTS

4 cups of cake flour (this is a soft wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
14 ounces of buttermilk
A large mixing bowl
Bread mat
A greased 9×13 pan (we greased ours with butter)

Bob's Red Mill Super Fine Cake Flour, 48 OunceArm & Hammer Baking Soda, 16 Oz ,Pack of 2USA Pan Bakeware Rectangular Cake Pan, 9 x 13 inch, Nonstick & Quick Release Coating, Made in the USA from Aluminized SteelSilicone Baking Mat for Pastry Rolling with Measurements, Liner Heat Resistance Table Placemat Pad Pastry Board, Reusable Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat for Housewife,Cook EnthusiastsRatio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday CookingCulinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of CookingThe Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

 

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 425F/218C.

Mix the flour, sodium bicarbonate, and salt together. Slowly stir in the buttermilk with a large spoon.

When the dough starts to come together turn it out onto the bread mat and using your hands gently shape the dough into a ball.

Shaping Irish Soda Bread into a ball

You want to be very careful at this stage. This is a no knead bread. If you knead it, it will break the bubbles and your bread will not rise while baking. In this picture you can see the bubbles in our dough.

CO2 bubbles in Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Simply shape it then use a knife to make a cross cut. This helps control any cracking in the crust of the bread as it bakes.

Put the dough in the greased pan and bake in the oven at 425 for 40 minutes.

Remove, cool and enjoy.

Check out the bubbles you can still see in the bread!

Irish Soda Bread Baked Fresh

Note On Storing Irish Soda Bread

This bread is quick to make but it also doesn’t keep fresh for longer than a day. It is best to make it shortly before you wish to eat it. It goes wonderfully with a bowl of hearty stew or soup!

Irish Soda Bread Recipe, History and Science

Bread Making from a STEM Box

Check out this fun Dough Lab STEM kit we did. It was so much fun, and everything comes in the box, just add warm water and a curious, hungry, kid!

Get your dough lab kit here:

Magical Microbes DoughLab STEM Kit: Bake and Learn

 

More Edible Science For Kids

The science behind a loaf of bread
Soft and delicious bread recipe with science lesson for kids
Delicious and easy bannock recipe
Delicious Irish Soda Bread made with easy recipe
5 from 1 vote
Print

Easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe

This delicious Irish Soda Bread recipe is so easy to make! Learn the history of Irish Soda Bread, a bit about Ireland, plus the science behind the chemical reaction that causes this no yeast, no knead, bread to rise. 

Supplies

  • 4 cups cake flour (soft wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate soda or sodium bicarbonate)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 14 oz buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 425F/218C.

  2. Mix the flour, sodium bicarbonate, and salt together. Slowly stir in the buttermilk with a large spoon.

  3. When the dough starts to come together turn it out onto the bread mat and using your hands gently shape the dough into a ball.

  4. You want to be very careful at this stage. This is a no knead bread. If you knead it, it will break the bubbles and your bread will not rise while baking. 

  5. Simply shape it then use a knife to make a cross cut. This helps control any cracking in the crust of the bread as it bakes.

  6. Put the dough in the greased pan and bake in the oven at 425 for 40 minutes.

  7. Remove, cool and enjoy.

Similar Posts