Bakers Journal

Farm House Irish Soda Bread with Clabber

March 2, 2010
By Marcy Goldman


Farm House Irish Soda Bread with Clabber
This month's featured formula comes from former Bakers Journal writer Marcy Goldman, who now runs an online magazine for bakers,

Irish Soda Bread  


March 2, 2010 – This month's featured formula comes from former Bakers Journal writer Marcy Goldman, who now runs, an online magazine for bakers. "Clabber," she writes, "is an old-fashioned word for buttermilk, and buttermilk is the
dairy liquid of choice in traditional soda bread. This recipe makes a
majestic, lean, mean tasty soda bread that is great with cheese or
sliced cold corned beef. I love it with tea in the evenings."


3 cups whole-wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons salt
1/2 cup very cold, unsalted butter, diced
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup dark raisins, plumped and dried

Preheat oven to 425 F. Stack two baking sheets together and line the top one with parchment paper.


In a large food processor briefly blend the flours, sugar, baking soda,
and salt. Add in the butter and pulse until the mixture is grainy.

Remove to a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Stir in
the buttermilk with a fork, gathering dough together. When almost mixed
fold in the raisins. Dough will be still somewhat ragged. 

Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently to make a
firm dough, using a little additional flour on your board to help firm
up if the dough is too wet. Let rest 5 minutes and then shape dough
into a large round and place on baking sheet. Make a cross with a
knife, and dust with bran or fine oatmeal. 

Bake until done and the soda bread is nicely browned all over, about 40-45 minutes. Yield: 1 large bread.

Marcy's tip for commercial bakers: You can use
powdered natural buttermilk in with the flour for making this in bulk
(although fresh buttermilk is better).

Finishing touches

Bran or fine oatmeal, for dusting.

Marcy Goldman is a master baker and host of, and author of several cookbooks, including the upcoming The Baker's Four Seasons.

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