Dump a bunch of ingredients in a bowl (under 5 minutes of your time), give a little mix, transfer into a skillet, bake for 40 minutes, and you’ve got an unforgettable sweet, hearty, rustic Irish soda bread. This Irish soda bread is being added to my short list of show-stopper recipes that I can throw together super fast when entertaining.
Most surprising about this Irish soda bread recipe are the ingredients that are missing and the unusual addition:
- This Irish soda bread has no butter or oil. You won’t miss it – the bread is rich from buttermilk.
- It has no added sugar and yet it’s sweet.
- The sweetness comes from… wait for it… PARSNIPS!
Parsnips are carrots’ underrated cousins. Did you know that parsnips were actually used as a sweetener in Europe prior to the arrival of cane sugar? Although we don’t see them often in American cooking outside the occasional soup or stew, parsnips are far more common in Irish cooking.
I found a recipe for a parsnip soda bread on Waitrose. That soda bread is a savory soda bread with both white and whole wheat flours, cheddar cheese, and assorted seeds. My sweeter variation uses only all-purpose flour, has no cheese and seeds, and instead uses raisins. The recipe has so much potential. Down the road, I’ll be experimenting with adding nuts, cheeses and fruits, using different types of flours, and trying carrots and maybe even sweet potato instead of the parsnip.
(Psst… See that cute knife in the top photo? You can get knives like that from my friend Brooke at Sucre Shop!)