Spicy Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

St.Patrick’s Day had my head swirling with recipes for Irish Soda Bread, which made me uncomfortable. Bread… without yeast?!

Now, I am not crazy, I don’t think all breads must have yeast, or a sourdough starter, but I’ve been crazy for yeast since I picked up a fresh jar last month. But I just like the sweetness of yeasted bread; I love the smell as it rises and bakes. I love the chewy, stretchy goodness.

So, with all the talk of these soda breads floating around I scuffawed and tried to ignore it. But last night I was hungry. I hadn’t taken out anything for dinner and I didn’t feel like making anything involved. Remembering the tiny bit of shredded cheddar that had been sitting in my fridge for some time I decided that Irish soda bread was worth a try.

I started with Ina Garten’s recipe but made some changes to make it savory, cheesy, spicy, and delicious.

Spicy Cheddar Irish Soda Bread


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk (I used 1.5 cups milk with 1.5 Tbsp of white vinegar to make my buttermilk)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until well integrated (pea-sized chunks or smaller). Add the cheese (note that I think it would taste best with 1 cup of cheese but I actually only had 1/2 cup on hand). Mix the cheese in so that the pieces are coated in flour.

With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl. Slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. The dough will be sticky, at this point I just got in there with my hands and mixed it up until it felt right (helpful huh).

Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.

When done, tear into it with a pat of butter. Taste particularly good with a glass of beer and 30 Rock on television. Yum.

0 thoughts on “Spicy Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

  1. Pingback: Beer Bread and Caprese Sandwich « Not Crocker

    • That’s wonderful! I am glad you liked it, it went quickly at my house! Just a warning, if it lasts longer than a day, make sure to bag it because, like all soda breads, it can get hard pretty quick.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *