Irish soda bread with sourdough discard

Easy Irish Soda Bread With Sourdough Discard

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Irish Soda Bread with Sourdough Discard: A Family Favorite for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is a time for celebration, and what better way to celebrate than with a delicious and traditional Irish soda bread? This year, I’m sharing one of my family’s favorite recipes: Irish Soda Bread with Sourdough Discard. This recipe is not only delicious, but it’s also a great way to use up your leftover sourdough discard, which is the inactive sourdough starter that you discard when feeding your starter.

I’ve always loved Irish soda bread. It’s slightly sweet, a little dense, and has a wonderful crumb that’s perfect for spreading butter or jam on. It’s also a really simple bread to make, which is why it’s become a staple in our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

This recipe for Irish Soda Bread with Sourdough Discard is adapted from Ina Garten, and it’s one of my favorites. It’s easy to follow, and the results are always delicious. The bread is made with all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, butter, egg, buttermilk, and raisins. The use of sourdough discard adds a subtle tanginess to the bread that I really enjoy.

Irish soda bread with sourdough discard

This Is What You’ll Need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour: The backbone of our bread, providing structure and softness.
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar: Just a touch, to add a hint of sweetness.
  • 1 ½ tsp salt: To enhance all the flavors.
  • 1 tsp baking soda: The leavening agent that gives our soda bread its rise.
  • 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter: For that irresistible flaky texture and rich flavor.
  • 1 large egg: Adds richness and helps bind the dough.
  • 1 cup sourdough discard: The star of the show, adding depth and a unique twist.
  • ¾ cup buttermilk: Reacts with the baking soda for lift and adds a lovely tang.
  • 1 cup raisins: For little bursts of sweetness throughout.
Irish soda bread with sourdough discard

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  1. Start with the Dry Mix: In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. This blend of dry ingredients ensures our bread has the perfect balance of sweetness and lift.
Irish soda bread with sourdough discard

2. Butter Time: Add cold butter, cubed, to the mix. Using the paddle attachment, blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. This step is crucial for achieving that tender, flaky texture we all love in soda bread.

3. Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and mix it with buttermilk and your sourdough discard. This combination adds moisture, richness, and the signature tangy flavor to the dough.

Irish soda bread with sourdough discard

4. Combine: Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Then, stir in the raisins, ensuring they’re evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Irish soda bread with sourdough discard

5. Shape and Score: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently shape it into a round loaf. Transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and score a deep ‘X’ into the top. This traditional touch isn’t just for looks; it helps the bread bake evenly.

Irish soda bread with sourdough discard

6. Bake to Perfection: Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 45-55 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it’s beautifully golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Irish soda bread with sourdough discard

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Irish Soda Bread with Sourdough Discard! It’s a delicious and easy way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and it’s a great way to use up your leftover sourdough discard.

Here are some additional thoughts and memories about this recipe:

  • My family has been making this recipe for Irish Soda Bread with Sourdough Discard for as long as I can remember. It’s always been a part of our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
  • I love the way the house smells when this bread is baking. It’s warm, yeasty, and oh-so-inviting.
  • This bread is also delicious toasted and served with butter and jam.
  • It’s always a crowd-pleaser, and I always get rave reviews when I bring it to potlucks and parties.
  • I hope you have a chance to try this recipe and make it a part of your own St. Patrick’s Day traditions!

This recipe is a great way to use up your sourdough discard, and it’s also a delicious and easy way to make a traditional Irish soda bread. 

Irish soda bread with sourdough discard

Irish Soda Bread with Sourdough Discard

Barbi Gardiner
This delightful Irish Soda Bread with Sourdough Discard recipe combines the tangy flavor of sourdough with the traditional touch of Irish soda bread, resulting in a slightly sweet, buttery loaf that's perfect for any occasion.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Bread
Cuisine Celtic
Servings 1 Loaf

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cold and cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup sourdough discard
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup raisins optional

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add cold butter, cubed, to the mix. Using the paddle attachment, blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and mix it with buttermilk and your sourdough discard.
  • Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  • Then, stir in the raisins, ensuring they're evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently shape it into a round loaf. Transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and score a deep 'X' into the top. This traditional touch isn't just for looks; it helps the bread bake evenly.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 45–55 minutes. You'll know it's done when it's beautifully golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • Let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Notes

  • If you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to ¾ cup of milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes.
  • My sourdough discard is 100% hydration level, meaning it's a balanced mix of flour and water by weight, giving it a dense, batter-like consistency. It's okay if your starter's hydration level varies from this.
  • You can also use sourdough starter rather than discard. 
Keyword bread recipe, Irish soda bread, Irish soda bread with sourdough discard, sourdough discard recipe, t. Patrick's Day recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Sourdough Recipes to Explore!

If you loved this recipe for Irish Soda Bread with Sourdough Discard, here are a few more popular sourdough recipes to try:

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