This is one of my most favorite breads to make because it is so darn easy! Now that I can make Irish Soda Bread in the Ninja Foodi, my life is complete!
Seriously, it is. I love this bread and I love my Ninja Foodi. See... Life. Complete. Oh, and I also happen to be married to best friend, I have the best puppy dogs, and I get to write recipes and make step-by-step recipe videos for you! Life. Complete.
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What is Irish Soda Bread?
Irish Soda Bread is essentially a quick bread because it does not use yeast for its rise. Instead, it uses baking soda; hence the name, "Soda Bread." In this recipe for Irish Soda Bread in the Ninja Foodi, I use a combination of baking soda and baking powder to get the rise in the oven.
The 4 basic ingredients in a traditional Irish Soda Bread are; flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. This has evolved over time to include many other variations of ingredients like caraway seeds, raisins, currants, and even orange zest sometimes.
Do I have to use buttermilk when making Irish Soda Bread?
Buttermilk is an important ingredient in Irish Soda Bread because it activates the baking soda to create the rise; however, there are a few substitutions you can use to achieve this same effect. You may be able to get away with using regular milk since this recipe also calls for baking powder which already has an acid (cream of tartar) in it to activate the leavening. Although, there are so many options to substitute for buttermilk, why chance it?
The most common and easiest substitution is made by adding 1 tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of milk and allowing it to sit for a few minutes and curdle. So, for this recipe you would combine 2 tsp of either lemon juice or white vinegar to 2 cups of milk.
You can also use yogurt and water. To do this, combine ¾ cup of yogurt with ¼ cup of water (or milk) and stir. If you are using Greek yogurt, you will need to add a touch more water. For this recipe you would combine 1 ½ cups of yogurt with ½ cup of water or milk and stir to combine.
You can also use sour cream and water in a 1:1 ratio. To use sour cream instead of buttermilk for this recipe combine 1 cup of sour cream and 1 cup of water and mix.
One last substitute, although there are a few more, I'm sure, you can use cream of tartar and milk. Simply combine 1 ¾ teaspoons of cream of tarter with 1 cup of milk. For this recipe you would use 3 ½ teaspoons of cream of tartar and 2 cups of milk.
How long will Irish Soda Bread last?
My simple answer is, not long enough for you to worry about it going bad... it's that good! All kidding aside, there aren't any preservatives in the bread and so it doesn't have the shelf life of commercial sliced bread. This is a good thing, of course!
Counter or Fridge: It isn't a moist bread and doesn't grow mold very quickly, but it can really dry out if left on the counter. I recommend putting the Irish Soda Bread in a sealable bag on the counter for 2-3 days or you can store it in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Freezer: If you want to make it ahead of time, it freezes very well. Just be sure to cool it all the way before putting it in a freezer bag or the steam vapor will turn back into water droplets and when frozen become what we call freezer burn. Irish Soda Bread will last at least 2-3 months in the freezer.
What is the best way to serve Irish Soda Bread?
Irish Soda Bread is best served warm with a bit of butter. Room temp is fine as well, but when it is cold, it tends to be too dense in my opinion. Another great way (and my personal fav) is to lightly toast it and then butter it! YUMMY!
You can also try using my mom's secret... not so secret now... butter spread. It is so good with this bread and you can even add a few drops of green food coloring if you want to really jazz it up.
Of course you just have to serve the Irish Soda Bread with Corned Beef & Cabbage and you won't believe how good this recipe is: Corned Beef & Cabbage in the Ninja Foodi.
Mom's Butter Spread:
- ½ stick of salted butter, room temp.
- 5 oz of vanilla yogurt or plain Greek yogurt. Mix together and refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving. It's delicious! If you give it a try, I'd love hear what you think. Just leave me a comment below.
It's time! Let's make some Irish Soda Bread in the Ninja Foodi!
First thing to do is get all your ingredients ready. This makes everything run smoother! I love to use these prep bowls from Pampered Chef, they come in various sizes and are heavy duty glass. In fact, I've had a set of prep bowls for over 10 years and have dropped them and they didn't even chip. I love them.
Soak the golden raisins in the buttermilk for 15-20 minutes and preheat the Ninja Foodi to 350° F. It's important to preheat the Ninja Foodi when using any of the functions that use the TenderCrisp lid. Think of it like an oven, which it really is, in a sense. You want the bread to start cooking right away so the leavening agents are being activated during the baking process and not before the Ninja Foodi is heated.
Combine all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Add the buttermilk and raisins and vanilla, mix to combine. The dough will be very sticky at this point. I like to use the large Mix N Scraper or my hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients into a loose dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured pastry mat or other clean surface. I use my pastry mat from Pampered Chef all the time for making any kind of dough because it is so easy to clean and it is large enough for any task. I usually start off with about ¼ cup of flour. I also like to coat my hands in flour to prevent the dough from sticking too much. Knead the dough by pressing out away from you and then folding it back on top of itself towards you. Then turn 90° and repeat. If the dough is too sticky, add an additional ¼ cup of flour on top and knead it into the dough.
The amount of flour you need will vary depending on many factors. When I made this recipe during a downpour of rain, I ended up using 6 cups of flour. On a dry day, I used 4 ½ cups. The dough should feel soft, but not sticky. If you add too much flour, just add a little more buttermilk. Add it in 1 Tbsp at a time so you don't end up with wet dough that needs more flour. I've been in that vicious circle and it's not fun.
Once the dough has come together into a nice ball, which usually takes about 5 minutes or so, form it into an 8" round, flat disc. It should be about 1 ½" to 2" thick and uniform in shape.
Add 1 Tbsp of butter to the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi and spread it around to coat the entire bottom of the pot.
Cut an "X" into the top of the bread about ½" deep with a very sharp knife or a bread lame. I use a sharp filet knife with a very thin blade like this one; Rapala Fish N Filet Knife. You don't want to use scissors or a dull knife because you will compress the bread too much. This isn't as critical with a dense bread like the Irish Soda Bread, but if you want to make a nice yeast bread like my Homemade Bread in the Ninja Foodi, you need the knife or lame to be sharp.
Place the dough round in the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi and set the bake temperature to 330° F. Set the time to 40 minutes. When the time is up, flip the bread over so the bottom is facing you and close the TenderCrisp lid to the Ninja Foodi. Make sure the Ninja Foodi is turned off and allow to sit in the Foodi for 20 minutes. This will finish cooking the bread.
Remove the Irish Soda Bread from the Ninja Foodi and place on a cooling rack. My favorite cooling racks are from Pampered Chef. I have tons of less expensive ones, but find these to be the best as far as quality, durability, and ease of use. A huge bonus is that they stack! Have you ever made cookies and your entire counter top is covered by cooling racks? These can be stacked and allow for great air flow to properly cool your baked goods. Allow the bread to cool for at least 20-30 minutes.
Slice, Serve, & Enjoy!
Irish Soda Bread in the Ninja Foodi
- Soak Raisins in buttermilk for about 15-20 minutes. Preheat the Ninja Foodi to 350° F.
- Combine dry ingredients and mix together. Add buttermilk, raisins, and vanilla extract. Mix with a large scraper or your hands. The dough will be very sticky at this point. Mix together until it becomes a very loose dough.
- Flour a pastry mat and dump the dough onto the mat or other floured surface. See post for more details.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes and add a little more flour if it is too sticky. The dough should come together easily, but lose it's stickiness after being kneaded for 5 minutes. I usually add ¼ cup of flour at a time until it is no longer sticky and forms into a ball.
- Shape the dough into a round flat disc shape, about the size of the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi.
- Add about 1 Tbsp of butter to the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi and allow to melt. Move the butter around so it coats the entire bottom of the pot. Cut an "X" into the top of the bread about ½" in depth and place the bread into the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi.
- Decrease the heat to 330° F and bake for 40 minutes. When the time is up, flip the bread and let sit in the Ninja Foodi with the Tender Crisp lid down. Make sure the Ninja Foodi is turned off and allow to sit in the Foodi for 20 minutes. This will finish cooking the bread.
- Remove the bread and allow to cool for at least 30-60 minutes before cutting. This is the perfect time to make my recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage!
- Slice, butter and Enjoy!
So, you have the Irish Soda Bread recipe... now, check out the perfect accompaniments!