Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread

Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread - a golden baked soda bread in a cast iron pan on a wooden background

Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread is a flavourful take on the original Irish Soda Bread. Adding sharp cheddar and stout beer make it a hearty and delicious addition to any meal. 

Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread

Have you ever tried Irish Soda Bread? It’s amazing and so simple at the same time. This Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread is a slight twist on the original. With the addition of sharp cheddar cheese and stout, this bread becomes elevated to a whole new level. It’s so incredible when it’s warm right out of the oven. Just a slather of butter is all you really need. However, it also goes great with Creamy Homemade Tomato Soup or Instant Pot Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread - A knife cuts a golden baked soda bread on a wooden board containing cheese and thyme.

What is Soda Bread?

Soda Bread is a quick bread that is made using baking soda (sodium bicarbonate or bread soda) as a leavening agent instead of yeast. Traditionally it contains only FOUR ingredients; flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk (although some argue against the inclusion of salt). The interaction between the baking soda and acidic buttermilk (or sour milk) creates bubbles which result in the bread’s unique texture.

Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread - a golden baked soda bread in a cast iron pan on a wooden background

Is it Really Irish?

Soda Bread is considered an important part of Ireland’s culinary identity. So much so that there is a Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread dedicated to protecting this culinary treasure. While it has really only been baked in Irish kitchens since the late 1830’s, it’s played an important part in the country’s history as a ‘necessity food’ which made use of inexpensive basic ingredients.

The characteristics of a traditional Irish Soda Bread are quite unique to the Emerald Isle. Soft wheat flour (similar to bread flour here in North America) is more suitably grown in Ireland’s climate. Soft wheat flour has relatively low gluten which makes it perfect for use in quick breads.

Three soda bread process shots.

Next, the structure of the bread is of utmost importance. It is always marked with the signature cross to ward off evil (or release the fairies) though the shape of the bread varies by region. Southern cooks bake traditional rounded loaves in cast iron pots while Northern bakers cook their triangle shaped flatbreads (known as farls) on griddles. 

Anyway you slice it, this uniquely textured savoury bread is quintessentially Irish. Though this bread is baked year round, you can bet bakers bake more of it around St. Patrick’s Day. It’s filling and it tends to help soak up liquid indulgences! 

Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread - Close up of a golden baked soda bread showing cheese layers.

A Bit of Soda Bread History

Before the invention of baking soda, Indigenous North Americans and early settlers used pearl ash (created during wood burning) as a natural leavening agent. However, it was the Irish that replicated this chemical process, creating baking soda as we know it today.

Other countries make quick breads in various shapes and forms as well. Scotland’s farls are similar to Northern Ireland’s thought they often also contain baking powder. Scottish bannock is a flat griddled soda bread which can be made from either barley or oatmeal. Lastly, there are delicious Scottish scones (sometimes made with potato!) which are still very popular to this day. 

Additionally, Australians also make damper which is very close to the bannock made by Indigenous North Americans. When we lived in Australia, our kids often made damper over a fire during Scout camps. The told us they used 7 Up as a liquid instead of buttermilk!

Finally, Serbians and the Polish also have rich traditions centered around their own forms of soda bread. 

Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread - a golden baked soda bread in a cast iron pan on a wooden background

Helpful Hints for Making Cheddar Stout Soda Bread

The process for making this quick bread is quite simple. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut up the butter, then rub it into the flour mixture with your fingers. Once the butter is entirely rubbed in and the texture resembles coarse sand, add the cheddar cheese and lightly toss. 

Next, make a slight depression in the mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix as much as you can with a wooden spoon, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and try to incorporate all of the dry ingredients into one large boule. Place in a cast iron skillet and flatten the top slightly. Using a knife, score a cross into the top about 1 cm deep. Bake in a 400 F preheated oven for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread - a golden baked soda bread in a cast iron pan on a wooden background

Other Great Variations

As mentioned earlier, soda bread can be made from soft white flour, oatmeal, or barley depending on where you live. However, Brown Irish Soda Bread made from wholemeal or wholewheat flour (which is often sweetened) is also popular. 

I’ve added more than a few extra ingredients to the basic Irish Soda Bread recipe (butter, cheese, beer, molasses, and rolled oats) and only a portion of the flour is whole wheat. Still, the texture and flavour are remarkable.

Try these other savoury additions in your next loaf: other cheeses, bacon, green onions, sundried tomatoes, nuts, or seeds such as caraway, fennel, or dill. Alternatively, sweet versions may include: raisins or currants, dark chocolate, coconut, figs, and cacao nibs. The variations may not be traditional but they could be delicious! 

Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread - A golden baked boule of soda bread surrounded by a blue cloth.

Storing the Bread

Soda bread is best eaten warm with a generous slather of butter. However, if you do have leftovers, wrap them tightly in a plastic bag and eat them within 2-3 days. You can freeze it too but it’s just so simple to make, I would suggest just making a new loaf! 

Pin this Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread HERE.

Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread - Pinterest image of a golden baked soda bread in a cast iron pan.

Yield: 8 servings

Cheddar Stout Soda Bread

Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread - A golden baked boule of soda bread surrounded by a blue cloth.

Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread is a flavourful take on the original Irish Soda Bread. Adding sharp cheddar and stout beer make it a hearty, delicious addition to any meal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups AP Flour 
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1  cup aged Cheddar; shredded 
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Stout Beer
  • 1 tbsp molasses 

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl.
  3. Cut in butter and rub it into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse sand.
  4. Add in shredded Cheddar. Lightly mix.
  5. Make a well and add in the wet ingredients. Mix with a spoon, then turn out on the counter and mix until all is combined.
  6. Place in a 10 inch cast iron pan, flatten the top slightly and use a sharp knife to score a cross about 1 cm deep.
  7. Moisten your hands slightly and rub it over the top surface. Scatter oats over the moistened areas and press in slightly so they stick.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 369Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 901mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 12g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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26 comments

  1. Gloria

    YUP…I was just saying I will need to make bread. In all this world craziness, getting any on the store shelves will not be easy. The perfect time for this recipe that is for sure.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes, I just baked some sourdough yesterday…and if you need another bread recipe my Pumpkin No Knead is super easy too.

      Reply

  2. Ben

    So what you’re saying to me is that you’ve made bread that has beer and cheese in it? That’s three of my favorite things rolled up into one! Om nom nom.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Ditto!! How can you go wrong with that trinity?

      Reply

  3. Kelly Anthony

    This cheesy cheddar stout soda bread looks delicious and so easy to make. I’m adding this to my list of things to cook this week.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Enjoy and stay safe Kelly!

      Reply

  4. Chef Dennis

    I am so loving this Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread! I love the idea of adding sharp cheddar and stout beer on this. I will definitely try making this at home.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Wonderful, hope you enjoy!

      Reply

  5. Aleta

    This bread is just gorgeous! I love how easy it is to throw together, it’s perfect for entertaining!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes! That’s the beauty of it.

      Reply

  6. Denise

    Your soda bread looks delicious and easy to make! I love the idea of cheese in this, I bet it really is amazing.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Cheese makes everything better!

      Reply

  7. Sharon

    This is brad real comfort food baking! A big slice dipped into stew is just what you need to warm the soul.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      That is exactly how we ate it!! Pure comfort food.

      Reply

  8. Loreto and Nicoletta Nardelli

    Cheddar and stout are already amazing on their own, I can just imagine paired in this beautifully crusted Irish soda bread!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It was a great combo, indeed. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

  9. Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer

    Give me bread in any form but right now I WANT this bread! It looks so scrumptious and perfect for lunch today! This with a side of Guinness stew and I’ll be set!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes!! and that’s exactly how we ate it.

      Reply

  10. Veronika

    I love baking bread at home but never tried making soda bread before. It’s a great recipe idea if you run out of yeast. Definitely will try it!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      For sure…yes, it’s a very easy quick bread to make and still satisfying.

      Reply

  11. Amy Liu Dong

    I love bread but not good on making it. This bread recipe looks really delicious and you inspires me to try making this at home. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      That’s awesome, I really hope you enjoy baking it as much as I did.

      Reply

  12. Vanessa

    This sounds incredible! And no yeast – Woohoo! (yeast is currently impossible to find around here)

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      it’s difficult to find here too. I’m currently working on a sourdough starter post as well.

      Reply

  13. Kelly Neil

    Oh my goodness YES PLEASE GIVE ME ALL THE CHEESY BREAD!! Drool……

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      heck yes!! haha thanks for dropping by Kelly!

      Reply

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