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Irish Soda Bread with Sharp Cheddar and Bacon

Yield: 1 9-inch round or 2 4-inch rounds

4 slices bacon
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded
1 ½ cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, sprinkle a small amount of flour onto the sheet where you will be placing the bread. You can also use a 9-inch round baking pan, grease and flour, no parchment needed.
  3. Cook the bacon over medium heat in a sauté pan until crispy. Cool, chop and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, black pepper, and sugar, whisk together until combined.
  5. Add to the dry mixture the cheddar and bacon and mix.
  6. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture, mixing until combined.
  7. Knead the mixture for 1-2 minutes, until the dough is hydrated and holds together. I knead for 1 minute, then fold the edges into each other 4 times, turn once and form into a circle.
  8. Form dough into a round loaf and transfer to the floured parchment paper-lined baking sheet or 9-inch round pan.
  9. Cut a cross into the top of the dough.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake another 22 to 25 minutes, or until the soda bread is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of the loaf. If you have an instant-read thermometer, it is ready between 190-200°F.


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