The inspiration for this Irish Rosemary Cheddar Soda Bread was an invitation by our friends to an Irish themed dinner. I found this recipe over at FOODNESS GRACIOUS and just realized this is the Gerry Spiers’ blog. Check it out he has great recipes and wonderful photography. We frequently do themed dinner parties’ with our friends, the Purdy’s. (That’s a toungue twister.) The Purdy’s love to experiment and explore food themes just as I do. It is a perfect match. I had it easy this time as I was asked to make appetizers. They made smoked corned beef and a host of sides, each one better than the next. They are great cooks, and like me, can’t make just one thing. How fun!
I truly love to make artisan breads. I have made an ARTISAN BREAD, just stick it in your Dutch Oven and no kneading required and a RYE BREAD among many. I have never made a soda bread before and frequently seen recipes from my fellow bloggers. What I have seen has looked really good but I thought a lot of people have said not too much good food comes out of Ireland. When it comes to Irish soda bread, they have it all wrong. It is awesome and this recipe is amazing. The cheddar cheese adds both flavor and moisture to the bread. The rosemary adds a really nice herb taste. Don’t use too much rosemary so as to not overpower the bread.
What is the origin of IRISH SODA BREAD? I learned from reading an article from Abigail’s Bakery that this tradition is not nearly as old as one might think. Bicarbonate (soda) did not find its way to Ireland until the 1840’s. Given the poor nature of its people, the soda was substituted for yeast and the ingredients were kept to four. I added rosemary and cheddar cheese to elevate the traditional recipe. This artisan bread is a bread that you could easily find in a bakery. It was that good. I love the look of the bread. You can see the tinge of orange in the cracks and crevices from the cheese and the green specs from the rosemary. Next time I try this recipe, I am going to try to make it gluten free. I really think it will translate well to a gluten free bread.
The cast of characters.
The building of the bread from the mixing of the ingredients, to the forming of the dough, to the baking.
The Irish Rosemary Cheddar Soda Bread plated.
Irish Rosemary Cheddar Soda Bread
- 4 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 Tsp Cream of Tartar
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Fresh Black Pepper
- 4 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary rough chop
- 4 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 2 Cup Buttermilk
- 2 Whole Egg
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking tray with non stick spray.
In a mixing bowl fitted with a bread hook, beat together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, pepper, rosemary and cheese.
In a separate mixing bowl, add the egg to the buttermilk and beat until combined.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and lightly mix through until it becomes sticky and a ball forms.
Dump the dough out onto a flour dusted work surface and roughly knead the dough. Cut the dough in half and shape each piece into an ball shape. If the dough is on the wet side, add some extra flour.
Place the dough balls onto your prepared baking tray. Take a sharp serrated knife and cut an X on top of the soda bread.
Season the top with some more salt and bake in the oven for 25 minutes and the top is golden brown.
Serve and enjoy!
The recipe is courtesy of Foodness Gracious and can be found here - https://foodnessgracious.com/rosemary-cheddar-irish-soda-bread/