Skillet Soda Bread
Adapted from my mother’s soda bread recipe, this Skillet Soda Bread comes together quickly and uses real buttermilk for the best flavor and texture.
Use real buttermilk to make this simple recipe for Skillet Soda Bread that bakes quickly…so you can satisfy your bread cravings faster.
Despite the fact that I have written, in bold, black, capital print, the words “check id” on the back of my credit cards, I am caught by surprise whenever a cashier actually asks to check my id. This simple precaution that has become frustratingly necessary is often overlooked, and I wonder what’s the difference anyway, because I still have to deal with fraud too often.
But yesterday was different. As I snaked my way through Oakland airport, stopping at the various shops along the way to fill my bag with drinks and snacks for my flight, each and every single merchant actually asked to check my drivers license. And it was when I was paying for a chicken panini that the woman asked me if my last name was intentional.
I had forgotten that my business credit card has my blog name on the front, too, and for a moment also forgot the irony that she noticed – that here I was, with Baker for my last name, and the funny coincidence that I have a business that has something to do with cooking.
It piqued her curiosity. And since no one was behind me in line, I found myself chatting with her about what I do, on the blog and off, when she asked me what I was cooking for Thanksgiving. She shared with me that she has a new set of pots and pans that were in their boxes. They were intended for Thanksgiving dinner, but her mother passed away. They were supposed to cook together. My heart felt deeply for her, and I told her how very sorry I was, and I truly was, because, as you know, I haven’t had the chance to cook Thanksgiving dinner with my own mother for over twenty years.
“You should open it,” I urged her. “And cook Thanksgiving dinner for her, in your heart.” When she looked back at me, her eyes told me she understood.
If that lady was you, and you saved my business card and see this, I hope you do. I will be thinking of you this Thanksgiving as I mash the potatoes and chop the giblets for the gravy, and I will be cooking for you, too.
My mother had a tradition of making soda bread during the holidays. I’ve shared it with you once before, and this skillet soda bread is even simpler.
Adapted from my mom’s Irish Soda Bread and Irish Soda Farls from the Wall Street Journal.
MORE QUICK BREAD RECIPES TO TRY
Maple Glazed Cranberry Bread
Irish Soda Bread
Chocolate Marble Bread
Five-Spice Chocolate Tea Bread
Skillet Soda Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk see notes below
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. If you wish, line the skillet with parchment paper. However, you can skip this step if you prefer.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sugar, baking powder and salt. Create a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk. Slowly stir with a wooden spoon, scraping down the sides as it becomes a sticky dough (see notes below).
- Dust a work surface generously (use about 1/4 cup) with flour. Dump the dough onto the surface and with floured hands, gently and quickly knead the dough into a round. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross in the dough, but do not cut all the way through. Use a bench scraper to carefully transfer the dough into your skillet.
- Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the bread is golden and makes a hollow sound when tapped. The bread will be fully cooked and fluffy on the inside. Remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool for about 30-45 minutes on a wire rack, with a kitchen towel draped on top.
I envy your relationship with your mom. my mom was the worse cook in America. really, neither my brothers or I ever enjoyed anything she cooked except for some Campbell soups. I ate her tuna sandwiches; she had mayo and that was it. once she baked eggplant [something so totally foreign to us kids]; it was so terrible she couldn’t even feign to eat it. to this day I can’t remember anything good with eating except we were all there for the nightmare. there weren’t any fast foods or deliveries in those days; one just got creative living through it and go hungry … it was that bad.
Just tried to make this bread, as another commenter mentioned, it came out like cake batter, there must be a mistake in the ration of milk to flour?
Hi Autumn! I am actually baking another loaf in the oven, and am sure that the ratios are correct! I’m so puzzled by your experience because this has been a sure recipe for me, so much so that I have baked even more loaves after getting the previous comment, just to make certain. One thing that I did add to the recipe description is emphasizing the quality of the buttermilk. This can definitely vary from brand to brand – some are thicker or thinner than others, and this will change the quality of your dough, which should be sticky but not thin like cake batter. And I should also mention that if you use a buttermilk substitute (e.g. milk with vinegar or lemon), that will be too thin. I just want to make sure that you used 1.25 cups good, thick buttermilk? I hope you try again, as it really is a delicious and easy bread! Hope this helps!
What a lovely encounter—I do hope she took your message to heart and cooks with spirit of her mother in her heart.
P.S. What a gorgeous loaf of soda bread!
I just tried making this tonight and there’s gotta be something wrong with your ratio of flour to buttermilk. The dough was as wet as a cake dough … after looking at other recipes online, most of them have double the amount of flour to that same amount of buttermilk you have down on your recipe. I am not sure if it’s a mistype of some sort, but this definitely isn’t right.
Hi Filipa, I was really concerned when I saw your comment because I have made this recipe many times and have never had dough that resembled cake dough. The dough should be sticky and not unlike biscuit dough. I am curious what kind of buttermilk you used? If, perhaps you used a thinner buttermilk, or substituted with milk and vinegar or lemon juice, then the dough will absolutely be too thin. You will want to use a good quality, thick buttermilk. If you still feel that the dough is too sticky, even after kneading in a very generously floured board, simply add a little more flour until you get the consistency as the one pictured in the post. I have been making several loaves to check the ratios even more, and I still get the same results! I hope this helps!
Lovely post, Liren. I really love the idea of honoring/remembering our lost loved ones through cooking. I’ve been thinking about that a lot this year, after losing my Grandmother recently, who was always the queen of amazing Thanksgiving spreads. It doesn’t feel quite right to be cooking her recipes without her, but she would have wanted nothing more than for us to be in the kitchen together and sharing those family recipes around the holiday table. Will have to give this soda bread a try!
I love Irish soda bread. Would you consider this more of a traditional or American version? Do you ever add raisins or put raw sugar on top?
This is my first time visiting your blog. What is your “specialty”? Are you more of a sweet or savory person/cook? Just want to get a feel of what to look at and forward too!
Thanks for your time ÷
Hi Christi, and welcome! This version is more traditional, but the other recipe I have from my mom is definitely sweeter and with raisins, if you want to check it out here.
As for a specialty, you will find both sweet and savory recipes – I embrace wholesome foods that will please the whole family, especially one that has a palate for trying new things. There’s a little bit of everything – comfort food, adventurous food, and also some Filipino recipes, since that is where my side of my family is from, as well as some German recipes from my husband’s side. I guess there’s a lot to explore, so I hope you do!
I really need to use my skillet to make bread. I just got a cast iron pan a few months ago, so I’m still learning all the ways to use it. This soda bread looks phenomenal and perfect for dinner guests!
Definitely – I have fallen in love with my cast iron pans – now I want more in all the sizes! The tricky part is taking care of them.
And yes, it’s perfect for dinner guests – so easy. All you need is good butter :)
:( it makes my heart sink.
You understand so well!
Also, I love your story and your heart behind cooking your Thanksgiving meal. Thanksgiving has ALWAYS been my favorite holiday (since I can remember) and this year my son and I will be alone (daddy is gone for work) but it will still be a special time because even when special people can’t fill your seats, they can fill your heart <3
Thank you – I’ll be thinking of you and your family this Thanksgiving, too. It’s always hard to be away from our loved ones. Hopefully you can do another Thanksgiving when he returns from work!
Would a regular stainless skillet work for this too? (No cast iron skillets here!) Or maybe a Dutch oven?
Definitely the Dutch oven, Bianca! That would work perfectly.
Many people don’t know this but Visa and Mastercard terms of service to a merchant FORBID them to ask for ID when a credit card is presented. I used to take all the credit cards in my business and Amex strongly discouraged it, but I could lose my MC/VI privileges if I were caught asking for ID for a credit card purchase.
Also, technically, putting anything but your signature on the back of the card voids it and merchants aren’t supposed to accept a card that says “Ask for ID”. Most of them will, simply out of not wanting to piss off their customer.
That’s very interesting, as I have had different recommendation from the bank issuing the card. Thanks, this is a good reminder for me to check what the best precaution might be.