Garlic Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

baked bread with two slices sliced with butter, herbs and salt surrounding it.

This Garlic Cheddar Irish Soda Bread is the perfect easy baking recipe to whip up when you’re wanting fresh bread FAST! It’s loaded with sharp cheddar cheese, fresh garlic and tons of herbs for an aromatic, light and fluffy bread. 

You guys! Can you even believe March is officially here? Wow. This year is already flying by. I feel like paraphrasing Ferris Bueller right now about how life moves pretty fast and if you aren’t paying attention, you could miss it. I definitely feel that right now! 

But you know what always makes my heart happy? Fresh bread. Specifically fresh, WARM bread. Specifically, this Garlic Cheddar Irish Soda Bread! 

close up of two slices of freshly baked soda bread

It is officially March, right? So we can start celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? I think so. 

Why You’ll Love this Bread: 

First off, it’s a one bowl baking recipe. Hello easy! I’m always down for less dishes to wash, what about you? 

Second, it’s SO SO simple. There is no yeast needed, no kneading, no waiting for the bread to rise for 24 hours, nothing but simplicity! 

I love how it bakes right up in a cast iron skillet. The inside is warm, full of fresh garlic and fresh herbs which makes it incredibly aromatic and super flavorful but never overwhelmingly so. 

The inside is always super light and fluffy. The outside has an incredible crust that crunches with each bite. The combination of a soft and fluffy inside and a crunchy crust will never get old! 

close up of crispy crust on soda bread with salt and herbs in the background

I love it fresh from the oven, sliced with salted butter on it. It’s so so good. 

So enough of me making your mouth water! Let me tell you how to make it! 

Ingredients You Need: 

  • All purpose flour 
  • Salted butter 
  • Baking powder + baking soda 
  • Salt + pepper 
  • Sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • Buttermilk 
  • Fresh rosemary, parsley and thyme 
  • Fresh garlic 
  • Sugar 

Best Baking Tips for Soda Bread: 

Begin by preheating the oven to 425 – we all know that sad moment when you go to put something in the oven and realize you forgot to turn it on. Whomp whomp! So make sure it’s fully preheated. 

Next, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, pepper and sugar to a large bowl and whisk until they’re evenly combined. 

For this recipe, feel free to use freshly shredded cheddar (which has more flavor in my opinion) or to save time, you can absolutely just use the pre-shredded cheese from the store. 

half photo of freshly baked bread with two slices sliced on a white marble board.

Once your dry ingredients are mixed, add in the freshly minced garlic, the minced herbs and the cheddar. Using a large wooden spoon, mix until it’s all combined. 

Next, I highly recommend you grab a pastry cutter. It’s one of my favorite baking tools to have in the kitchen to be able to combine cold butter into dry ingredients. If you don’t have one, feel free to use your hands but it might take a little longer. 

To the bowl, add in 4 tbsp of cold salted butter. Using the pastry cutter, cut in the cold butter until it has kind of like small pea-like crumbles:

glass bowl of butter cut into dry ingredients

Once it’s all combined, add in the buttermilk and stir until a dough is formed. If it still feels wet, feel free to add a little bit more flour to get it to feel more like a dough. For reference, it should look something like this when it’s all ready to go:

soda bread dough in glass bowl

Don’t forget, even if your cast iron skillet is perfectly seasoned, to spray with cooking spray or rub down with extra oil just in case 🙂 

Now, gently transfer the dough into the cast iron skillet. I used my 10 inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet and it was perfect. 

side by side photos of pre and post baked soda bread in cast iron skillet

Once it’s in the skillet, gently add an X shape on top of the dough. This will ensure that the middle of the bread will cook. 

Lastly, brush the top of the bread with some more buttermilk to ensure it gets a golden brown crust! 

Bake it for about 30-35 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Let it cool for several minutes before you remove it from the cast iron skillet carefully to slice it. 

How to Serve Bread:

My favorite way? Sliced, warm and add lots of butter and flaky sea salt. The best – you can’t beat it in my opinion! Lol. 

hand grabbing a slice of buttered bread with salt bowl in the background

I also love dipping and dunking it in every type of soup. It would be amazing with my Lightened Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup or the Guinness Irish Stew I’m going to be posting this Friday (spoiler ;)) 

It would also be amazing with a fried egg on top of it for breakfast! 

Or slice two large slices and make a sandwich with it for lunch. 

The options are limitless with this delicious bread, my friends. My hope is that you make it and love it as much as I do! XO – Haylie 

Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are some other recipes you might like: 

Instant Pot Guinness Braised Short Ribs 

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits 

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

Garlic Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

This Garlic Cheddar Irish Soda Bread is the perfect easy baking recipe to whip up when you’re wanting fresh bread FAST! It’s loaded with sharp cheddar cheese, fresh garlic and tons of herbs for an aromatic, light and fluffy bread. 

Course Appetizer, bread, Side
Cuisine American, Irish
Keyword cheddar irish soda bread, cheesy irish soda bread, garlic soda bread, savory irish soda bread, soda bread recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Haylie

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar 
  • a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 4 tbsp cold salted butter 
  • 1 and 3/4 cups butter milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. 

  2. Mince the garlic and herbs.

  3. In a small bowl, add in the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, baking soda + powder, salt, pepper and sugar) and whisk until combined. Add in the cheddar cheese, fresh herbs and garlic and stir in to combine. 

  4. Add in the slices of cold salted butter and cut in using pastry cutter until it’s fully combined. If you don't have a pastry cutter, use your hands. The end result should be pea-like crumbles. See photo above in blog for reference.

  5. To this, add in the butter milk and stir until a dough is formed. If needed, add more flour to be able to shape the dough.

  6. Spray cast iron skillet with non-stick cooking spray and add the dough directly to the 10 inch cast iron skillet. Add an X pattern in the middle with a sharp knife. Brush lightly with buttermilk.

  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and it comes out clean. Let cool for several minutes before you remove it from the skillet and slice. Serve warm with butter. Enjoy!

  8. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 1-2 days.

Recipe Notes

If you don't have a 10 inch cast iron skillet, you can use a similar size baking dish like dutch oven. 

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