Sunday, March 10, 2013

Irish Whiskey Soda Bread

Yes, I am still on the St. Patrick's Day baking train.
I love holiday baking. It means getting to try things that are sometimes out of the ordinary for me.
Now, soda bread in itself is not so unusual BUT the addition of the Irish whisky was intriguing.
These are a lovely texture and the whisky definitely adds a little somethin' somethin' to the flavor.
I am going to be preemptive here because I know people are going to ask if they can sub something for the whisky.
Let me answer that by saying - if you do not want to use whisky then you should maybe just make a regular soda bread instead. The point of this particular recipe is that you are using whisky in it.
Besides, I'm pretty sure most of the alcohol cooks off during baking.
Okay, okay, okay....if you still want to try this without the whisky...then sub in more buttermilk instead. The buttermilk will add a bit of tang.
Irish Whisky Soda Bread
(Slightly adapted from Big Oven)
3 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter, chilled
3/4 cup currants
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup honey, liquid
1/4 cup Irish whisky
1 Tbsp Irish whisky
1 Tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, whole wheat flour, salt, and baking soda. Cut in chilled butter using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives. Mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.
Stir in currants.
In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, honey, and whisky.
Add all at once to dry ingredients and stir only until there is no dry spots left. Lightly flour a work surface. Pour dough onto flour. Knead 7 - 8 times. (Do not over knead it - this will make your bread tough.)  Cut dough in half. Shape each half into an 8 inch round. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Cut a cross into the top of each loaf.
Whisk together glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Brush the glaze onto each loaf using a pastry or basting brush.
Bake at 350  for 35 - 40 minutes. Tops should be brown and loaves will sound hollow when tapped.
It only takes about 5 minutes to whip these up and 40 minutes to bake so you can have them ready to go in well under an hour.
I usually use an 8 inch cake pan to trace 2 circles onto the parchment paper, then flip the paper over, and you can use the tracings to pat the dough out into a perfect 8 inch circle.
FYI - you can also bake these in 8 inch cake pans OR 8 inch cast iron frying pans instead of on a cookie sheet if you prefer. In the pans they tend to rise a bit higher instead of spreading out a bit.
Either way they are delicious.
These are wonderful served with butter and jam.
What are you baking up for St. Patrick's Day?
Visit Six Sister's Stuff and Ms. enPlace  and Love Bakes Good Cakes for tons of great links!


  1. I do love the taste of Soda Bread - but it doesn't like me! So, alas, I don't indulge. Mind you the addition of whisky is intriguing!!!


  2. I love the idea of not over-kneading! The whisky is new to me, but well worth a try :-) Pinned to make soon. Thank you for sharing your recipe at the ALL MY BLOGGY FRIENDS party !

  3. Very interesting! I'll keep the whiskey!
    Thank you for linking up this week.

  4. Wha there's no provisions for the baker? Sur your throwin' whiskey around and it's only fair to share.