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  • Writer's pictureThe Crooked Ladle

Irish Soda Bread with Dates (or other fruits)

Soda Bread or a Giant Scone? - Either Way It's Hearty and Satisfying

Irish Soda Bread with Dates (or other dried fruit)

Soda bread is one of the easiest breads to make because there is no yeast involved which means there's no need to sit around drumming your fingers waiting for the dough to rise. That's why it is referred to as quick-bread. The texture and taste of my recipe reminds me of a scone ... crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside with a tease of sweetness. It's really versatile, too, as you can replace the dates with other dried fruits such as raisins, currants, apricots and more. This wonderful bread bakes well without the fruit, too, and you don't have to change other aspects of the recipe. And it's fantastic as a toast! I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think.

Makes: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cooking Time: 45 to 50 Minutes

Suggested Tools:

· Large bowl

. 9” round cake or pie pan

· Sharp knife

· Large stir spoon

· Toothpick


· 4 cups all-purpose flour

· 1 ¾ cup buttermilk, shake up your container to mix it well before measuring

· ½ cup granulated sugar

· 2 large eggs, whisked well

· 5 teaspoons melted butter

· 1 teaspoon baking soda

· 2 teaspoons baking powder

· 1 teaspoon salt

· 1 cup pre-chopped dates (they come pre-chopped in a package)


1. Add the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl and stir to distribute well and set aside until step #3.

2. In a separate medium size bowl, add the buttermilk, whisked eggs, and melted butter.

3. Make a well in the middle of the flour by pushing the flour up all around the sides of the bowl which should leave a somewhat empty area in the middle of the bowl (refer to photo image above).

4. Add all of the liquid mixture to the center well of the flour mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. The result at first will be a sticky dough which should be kneaded gently for about a minute to bring the dough into a somewhat tighter and smoother dough. To do this, first flour your hands and sprinkle very little flour onto the dough. To keep things simple, I knead and shape the dough into a disk in the bowl (refer to the image below) . However, feel free to use a cutting board for this task.

5. Spray the 9-inch baking pan with a baking non-stick spray. With your hands, transfer the dough disk from the bowl or cutting board to the baking pan. With a sharp knife, score the dough disk with a large “X” one-half inch deep in the center of the disk (refer to photo the image above).

6. Place the pan with the dough on the middle rack of the oven and bake in a pre-heated 375-degree oven for 45-50 minutes. Check on the bread after 35 and 40 minutes since oven temperatures vary. The bread should be a lovely golden brown. Test for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the center of the bread – it is cooked through once there is no wet dough remaining on the toothpick. Cool on a rack in the baking pan for at least 15 minutes.

Other Fruit Options Include: Raisins, Cranberries, Apricots, Currants, Dried Cherries and more.

Want to Change the Flavor: Add two tablespoons of lemon or orange zest.

Freshness: The baked bread can be frozen for about two months. The bread will continue to have a nice freshness when wrapped in plastic and left out on the counter for about three days.

Don't want Fruit: Fine, you can leave the fruit out for a still delicious fruitless loaf without changing the rest of the recipe and still experience that nice crunch on the outside and softness on the inside.

Enjoy with sweet butter!

Makes a great toast cut rather thick!

The Crooked Ladle

Savor the taste

1 Comment

Mar 14, 2022

Looks tasty!!

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