Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
This Paddy’s Day, we made some Irish soda bread to accompany our corned beef and cabbage. But not just any Irish soda bread – Irish soda BEER bread.
The Irish half of my heritage was very excited about this.
And I was right to be excited, because these things were amazing!
Seriously: little loaves of sweet, warm goodness with thick, crusty exteriors crackling open in my hands to reveal a velvety soft smoothness.
And you could technically use any brand of beer you like, but I strongly recommend Guinness. Although, I must admit, I’m tempted to make these again with chocolate stout…
But I digress. Point is, these things are crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, have just the right amount of sweetness, and taste wonderful smothered in butter.
And they’re easy to make.
They are a wee bit on the heavy side, though, so one is more than enough per person (the recipe makes 12 mini loaves), and you could probably even make it into a batch of 16 instead.
Also, Irish soda bread usually calls for caraway seeds, but, since I don’t like caraway seeds, when I put this recipe together, I left them out.
If you’re a fan, however, feel free to throw in a tablespoon while mixing the flour with the sugar.
And, like I said, it’s easy.
Essentially, you throw everything together in one bowl, then knead for a minute, then bake.
The dough can be a little sticky, but that’s an easy fix. Make sure to knead it on a floured surface, and coat your hands with flour.
Also, when cutting the loaf into tiny loaves and rolling them into balls, if they start to stick to your hands or the counter, just pat on a little more flour.
Kitchen shears or sharp scissors are the best way to make the X in the top of the mini loaves, although I suppose you could use a sharp knife if you don’t have shears.
Brushing egg over the tops adds a nice texture and color to the loaves.
Plus, make sure you bake them on parchment paper, or a some sort of nonstick baking mat. Alternatively, you could grease the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Was I wrong? Do these things not look amazing??
And the aroma, the texture…
You won’t regret trying these. I’m definitely going to find more excuses to make these. And not just for Paddy’s Day.
Mini Irish Soda Bread with Guinness
1 1/4 cups stout Guinness
4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup melted butter
Pour the beer into a measuring cup and let sit for about a half hour at room temperature, until flat.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Stir in raisins. Then, stir in beer, melted butter, and 1 egg until a dough forms.
On a floured surface, knead dough until smooth. Coat your hands in flour to prevent the dough from sticking to you.
Shape the dough in a ball. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into quarters. Cut each of these quarters into three equal pieces. Shape each of these 12 pieces into balls and place on a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
Using kitchen shears, cut an X in the top of each loaf. Then lightly beat the remaining egg and brush it over the loaves.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Cool on a wire rack.
(Note: Traditionally, Irish Soda Bread contains caraway seeds. I’ve omitted them from this recipe, due to personal tastes, but if you’d like to add them, simply stir in a Tbsp. of caraway seeds when combining the flour, sugar, baking powder, and spices.)
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