This delicious Cranberry Walnut Irish Soda Bread is a modified version of macombs-irish-soda-bread. The original recipe is a basic sweet soda bread recipe. Made with eggs, flour, sugar, sour cream and a combination of soda and baking powder, it's an easy recipe.
I usually add raisins to my bread but in celebration of the approaching holidays, I decided to try baking a loaf with cranberries instead! A fresh slice of bread with some butter and a generous dollop of my cranberry-curd is a delicious breakfast treat!
Contrary to popular opinion, soda bread was originally a Native American recipe and favorite. The first Americans used Pearl Ash, a derivative of wood ash as a natural form of soda and leavening in their bread.
The Irish later discovered and replicated this process in the 1830's, after the discovery of soda. Due to food scarcity in Ireland, this bread was a popular and affordable meal option. Dip it in a hot cup of tea or enjoy it with a steaming bowl of Irish stew. A staple in most Irish households, this is definitely on the menu at St Patrick's day!
I love bread in any shape or form. However, I usually avoid making it because it's a tedious process and in order to avoid eating the entire loaf in one sitting! The one bread that's relatively easy to make and a little easier on the diet is soda bread!
I tried the Macombs Recipe linked above a few years ago on St Patrick's day and found it delicious and easy! Over time I've made a few tweaks to the original recipe. While this is the sweet, slightly unhealthy version of soda bread, almost scone like, it's still lower in fat and calories than many other varieties of bread.
This bread is my one secret indulgence and I make it periodically with various add ins to suit my mood and the season. This Cranberry Walnut variation is perfect for the holiday season and I can't seem to make enough of it for my family!
Make it a day ahead and serve it slightly warmed up for breakfast and your family will love you!
Traditional soda bread is made with soft wheat flour. However, this version is almost like scones and I've chosen to use white all purpose flour for it. For best results, make sure you're using fresh, good quality flour. I personally like to use kingarthurbaking.com .
Instead of buttermilk, this recipe calls for sour cream instead. The soda and sour cream together act as the leavening agent and help the bread rise. Since this recipe is a little different from traditional soda bread and leaning more towards scones, a little bit of baking powder is also used. This gives it a slightly lighter, cakier texture, perfect with a cup of tea.
The main thing to remember with this type of bread is not to knead it. Mix just till the ingredients come together. Over mixing or kneading releases gluten and creates a chewy texture.
I bake my bread in a greased springform pan, but any baking tin, or even a griddle can be used.
Infact, traditional Irish Soda Bread was cooked over an open hearth in a pot or griddle.
Since ovens and cooking conditions vary, make sure to check that the bread is cooked through using a toothpick or cake tester at the 1 hour mark.
The perfect bread has a chewy crust on the outside and a tender crumb on the inside. Serve with butter and jam or eat it on it's own.
A plain loaf, without any add ins is delicious with a bowl of soup. Or make a savory loaf with a little bit of cheese mixed in. You can experiment with the add ins and personalize this recipe as I like to do.
Hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I do! Please don't forget to rate it and comment below!
Cranberry Walnut Irish Soda Bread
- 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups sour cream
- ½ cups walnuts
- ½ cups cranberries
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp granulated white sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Grease a 9 inch springform pan
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the sour cream
- Stir in the wet mixture, the dry mixture, the nuts and the cranberries just until the dough comes together (SEE NOTES)
- Spoon the mixture into your greased pan
- Lightly baste the top with the milk and sprinkle the sugar on top
- Bake for 1 hour (SEE NOTES) A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean
- Remove from the oven and let the bread cool for 10 minutes before cutting it