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Irish Soda Bread


  • 4 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix. Add the buttermilk and mix gently with a fork. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Gently fold the edges into each other four times, turn once, then pat the dough out into a circle about 9 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. With a sharp knife, make two large slashes in the shape of a cross on the top.
  • Lightly grease a 2x10-inch round cake pan with the vegetable oil. Place the dough in it and sprinkle the top with bacon. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake until the bread is brown and sounds hollow when thumped with your fingers, about another 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, then remove the bread from the pan and let cool on a wire rack before slicing to serve.