A twist on traditional soda bread, this crusty Irish cheddar, and bacon soda bread is packed with melted cheese, savory meat and scallions.
Maybe its just me but it kinda seems like Irish soda bread has gotten a bad rap lately. People tend to assume that it can be hard, dry and boring. Regardless, if properly cooked it can be the perfect edible “spoon” to enjoy with classic St. Patrick’s Day dishes, such as corned beef and cabbage or delicious stews.
I have made traditional loaves and sweet soda bread in the past. However, this year I wanted to try something more savory. This Irish cheddar and bacon soda bread recipe is my favorite rendition so far! I even received a stamp of approval from my half Irish husband, Jason. It probably doesn’t hurt that I incorporated his favorite ingredient, bacon!
This Irish cheddar and bacon soda bread recipe can be made and ready to eat in an hour! Don’t forget to pair this with a corned beef dish.
Since the leavening agent is baking soda instead of using yeast to make the bread rise that means the prep time is quick and easy. Essentially known as a “quick bread,” you can add your favorite ingredients to make this soda bread delicious. I used a sharp cheddar cheese, nitrite free bacon, green onions and a hint of freshly cracked pepper to intensify the savory notes. The crust had a crunchy texture with a lovely gorgeous rise in the oven that resulted with a tender, chewy center!
When preparing this Irish bacon and cheddar soda bread recipe, start the process about an hour before you are ready to serve your meal. Soda bread is best enjoyed when served hot and with this recipe the cheese would still be melting, and butter can be easily slathered onto each yummy slice.
The smell of the smoky bacon and aromatic green onions are so enticing when you cut into a loaf that is still steamy and fresh out of the oven. Your guests will be sure to devour this soda bread, so you may want to double the recipe! This soda bread is the perfect compliment to my Guinness beef stew recipe. Happy St. Patrick’s day!
There are many variations of Irish soda bread
However, they all typically contain flour, baking soda and dairy (milk, buttermilk, yogurt, even sour cream). The magic in Irish soda bread is baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), the leavening agent that allows the dough to rise without hours of proofing. The baking soda reacts with the acid in the mixture (buttermilk), resulting in carbon dioxide (gas) releasing in the dough. This does not happen until heat rises to at least 80 degrees C in the oven. The carbon dioxide causes the dough to expand and rise, then proteins harden and set, giving the characteristic appearance and texture of bread. Irish soda bread provides instant gratification to your guests in less time and effort for the chef, score!