Irish Soda Bread is a recipe that has been around a long time. I love it because it is a quick and delicious way to get bread on the table and it is extremely versatile as well. Over the years the things I did not like about various recipes were that they tasted “soda-y” or they were dry or just not quite right.
It should be tender and crumble-y, somewhat like a biscuit but not. How is that for a definition? Be sure to cut in the butter thoroughly because that make a big difference in the tenderness of the finished product. It is at it’s best hot from the oven, butter melting on a steaming slice.
Soda bread was developed in Ireland in about 1850 when baking soda was introduced into the country. Because of the climate of Ireland hard wheat was difficult to grow and yeast breads were difficult to make. Soda made the difference by replacing the yeast and creating a soft, well risen bread.
The addition of lemon and lavender is a nice change, giving a citrus tang to this slightly sweet bread. Try it with some lemon curd for your morning tea or coffee.
When purchasing lavender buds be sure that you are getting organic, edible lavender.
Lemon-Lavender Soda Bread
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tablespoons lavender buds
2 Tablespoons grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter cut in small pieces
sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Spray 8-inch-diameter cake pan with nonstick spray, or butter it.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon peel, lavender, and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until coarse crumbs form. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk and lemon juice. Gradually stir in buttermilk to blend.
Using floured hands, shape dough into ball. Transfer to prepared pan and flatten slightly. Cut a cross shape in top of dough. Sprinkle dough with sugar.
Bake bread until brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes.