Attention: In the days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, many will go searching for true and authentic Irish Soda Bread. This is not that bread!
I don’t get the holiday. I’ve made posts for Easter, Passover, Christmas, Pi Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and pretty much anything. Until now, I’ve never had any interest in recognizing St. Patty’s day with a recipe. I have no idea if I am Irish. My family has been in the American South for so many generations that it’s very diluted if I am. But, on March 17th, we’re all Irish – right? The main reason I decided to share this recipe with you is just as simple as cheese is good in bread, even better if you can stuff it full of veggies too. If a bread oozing with cheese and specked with spinach just happens to help you celebrate a holiday that may or may not be important to you, then Sláinte!
My inspiration for this recipe came from a Cooking Light recipe for a healthy soda bread recipe with Irish oats, wheat germ and whole wheat bread. It was a delicious and hearty bread. I knew I wanted my bread green (the spinach), and the texture of the Irish oats fought with the texture of the cheese and spinach so I got rid of it. I used a little wheat germ dusted on the top of the bread, but it isn’t necessary and I don’t call for it, because most of us would have to schlep out to buy it.
This soda bread is loaded up with chopped spinach and sharp cheddar. I used an aged Irish cheddar here, but any good aged cheddar will give enough flavor. Chopping it into cubes instead of shredding it creates little pockets of melted cheese throughout the bread. I used a box frozen chopped spinach, but you could also use kale or any other cooked green here too. Like normal soda bread, this is delicious toasted, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and OF COURSE it goes well with a Guinness. Try it hot out of the oven, and you will never make another soda bread. Enjoy and Erin go Bragh!
- 6.75 ounces whole wheat flour
- 6.75 ounces all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded or cut into 1/2" cubes
- 8 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1 egg
- 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a pan with baking spray or line with parchment paper; set aside. Empty the box of frozen spinach onto a clean dish towel. Wrap the towel around the spinach tightly and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the flours, salt, pepper, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well then fold in the cheese.
- In another bowl combine the spinach, egg and buttermilk. Mix together and then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and form into a round. Use a sharp knife to score a cross in the top of the dough. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle of bread comes out clean, or with only a little melted cheese on it. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to warm before serving. Bread with keep for a day or two wrapped tightly or freeze. Toast to warm.