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.
Soup and bread make such a satisfying meal. Try some fresh soda bread with these tasty soups: Creamy Homemade Tomato Soup or Instant Pot Beef Stew with Root Vegetables.
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.
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.
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 loaf 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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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!
Storing the Bread
This 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!
Cheddar Stout Soda Bread
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.
- 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
- Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
- Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl.
- Cut in butter and rub it into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse sand.
- Add in shredded Cheddar. Lightly mix.
- 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.
- 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.
- Moisten your hands slightly and rub it over the top surface. Scatter oats over the moistened areas and press in slightly so they stick.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
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.
i’m never a good bread maker but this recipes makes me want to try.
You can do it!! This is a great recipe to start with.
Love this twist on Irish soda bread!
Thank you Rob. I feel like cheese just makes everything more delicious.
I’ve never tried making bread with stout beer before! Adding it to my menu for St. Patrick’s Day!
Give it a go! It’s quite delicious…especially served with a soup or stew.
This is so yummy and easy to make!
We love to make it to serve with homemade soup!
baked it in my dutch oven and it was perfect!
That’s perfect! Bon appetit!
Looks so yummy! this Cheesy Cheddar Stout Soda Bread with a touch of Stout Beer never tried to bake any bread recipe with beer this looks so interesting, I will try this one for sure. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
I don’t have a cast iron skillet but I do have a cast iron Dutch oven, can I take the bread in that?
Yes, a Dutch oven would work just fine Karin.
Oh my goodness YES PLEASE GIVE ME ALL THE CHEESY BREAD!! Drool……
heck yes!! haha thanks for dropping by Kelly!
This sounds incredible! And no yeast – Woohoo! (yeast is currently impossible to find around here)
it’s difficult to find here too. I’m currently working on a sourdough starter post as well.
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!
That’s awesome, I really hope you enjoy baking it as much as I did.
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!
For sure…yes, it’s a very easy quick bread to make and still satisfying.
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!
Yes!! and that’s exactly how we ate it.
Cheddar and stout are already amazing on their own, I can just imagine paired in this beautifully crusted Irish soda bread!
It was a great combo, indeed. Thanks for stopping by!
This is brad real comfort food baking! A big slice dipped into stew is just what you need to warm the soul.
That is exactly how we ate it!! Pure comfort food.
Your soda bread looks delicious and easy to make! I love the idea of cheese in this, I bet it really is amazing.
Cheese makes everything better!
This bread is just gorgeous! I love how easy it is to throw together, it’s perfect for entertaining!
Yes! That’s the beauty of it.
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.
Wonderful, hope you enjoy!
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.
Enjoy and stay safe Kelly!
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.
Ditto!! How can you go wrong with that trinity?
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.
Yes, I just baked some sourdough yesterday…and if you need another bread recipe my Pumpkin No Knead is super easy too.