Another year, another St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate. This month the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling company thought we’d take the opportunity to combine two of our favorite topics: history and recipes. Read on to learn a little bit about the history of Irish soda bread and then try out the recipe for a non-traditional soda bread made with Sprite.
History of Irish Soda Bread
No Saint Connection
Alas, for the purposes of St. Patrick’s Day, soda bread has no connection to the saint whatsoever. St. Patrick lived in the 400s. Irish soda bread dates from the 19th Century.
Baking Soda Boon
Soda bread was first created in Ireland in the late 1830s. At that time, baking soda had been introduced to the United Kingdom. Until that time, the rise in bread came almost exclusively from using yeast.
Cheap and Easy
Also at that time, many of Ireland’s families were in pretty desperate financial situations. They needed simple, inexpensive recipes to feed the family. The first soda breads used only flour, baking soda, salt, and soured milk (think buttermilk).
In addition to the inexpensive ingredients, soda bread could be baked almost anywhere, even without an oven. The bread bakes just as easily in cast iron over a fire.
Updated Easy Soda Bread
As if soda bread weren’t easy enough already, this recipe using Sprite makes it even more so
- 3 cups self-rising flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 12 oz. Sprite
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- cooking spray
- rubber spatula
- large mixing bowl
- loaf pan
- cooling rack
Preheat the oven to 350º. Assemble the dough while the oven preheats.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the self-rising flour and sugar.
Add the Sprite. Mix with the rubber spatula until just combined. It will be lumpy.
Using the rubber spatula, fold in the melted and cooled butter until just mixed.
Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Add the dough mixture to the pan.
Bake at 350º for 50-55 minutes. Check the center of the soda bread with a toothpick. When the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done.
Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Gently turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool before cutting.
Enjoy your easy Sprite soda bread with other St. Patrick’s day favorites like corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, or Irish stew.