I learned to make Irish soda bread while at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland—one of the easiest breads to make! 

It’s the perfect yummy centerpiece for a gorgeous Seacuterie Board, and I always love to pair this with Dough Wine’s Sauvignon Blanc.

At Dough, they’re encouraging all of us to “rise” to the occasion and fight for food sustainability, equity in the kitchens, and restaurant recovery. I applaud them for partnering with the James Beard Foundation to help create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable food culture through an annual donation. 

It’s really inspiring to see brands like Dough contribute to positive growth in the culinary arts and beverage professions, and I encourage more to join them in this all-hands-on-deck effort. 

But let’s talk more about the dough for your seacuterie board! So the trick here is to make sure that you are working quickly so that the air doesn’t escape from the bread as the baking soda reacts to the acid in the buttermilk. I also have a few more tips that I’ve shared here in this video for you:

And as my friends in Ireland taught me, I like to cut a deep cross into the bread and then prick it in the center of the four sections to let the fairies out.

While I have yet to spot fairies in my kitchen, this bread always makes my home feel so magically cozy, especially when I pair it with my favorite conservas for a seacuterie snack! I can’t wait to hear how your soda bread turns out.

  • 3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 13 to 16 ounces buttermilk (depending on the consistency of the buttermilk)
  • Seacuterie ingredients — here’s what I recommend trying out

1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.

2. Add the flour to a large bowl, add the salt and baking soda. Lift the flour up with your fingers to distribute the salt and baking soda.

3. Make a well in the center and pour in all the buttermilk. With your fingers stiff and outstretched, stir in a circular movement from the center to the outside of the bowl in ever-increasing concentric circles. When you reach the outside of the bowl seconds later, the dough should be made.

4. Sprinkle a little flour on the worktop. Turn the dough out onto the floured worktop.

5. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on your hands. Gently tidy the dough around the edges and transfer to an oven tray. Tuck the edges underneath with your hand; gently pat the dough with your fingers into a loaf about 1 ½-inch thick. Now wash and dry your hands.

6. Cut a deep cross into the bread (this is called “blessing the bread”) and then prick it in the center of the four sections to let the fairies out of the bread. 

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 400°F for a further 15 or 20 minutes. Turn the bread upside down and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes until cooked (the bottom should sound hollow when tapped). Cool on a wire rack.

Want to try another dish that’s full of whimsy and inspired by the sea? Try this Asparagus & Seawort Tart with Gruyere