irish soda bread with fennel & cinnamon

Heavy, dense, tasteless, dry. Often these are words used to describe the brick-of-a-loaf also known as Irish soda bread. Its bad rap had me wary but I overcame it when I saw Buff Chickpea’s lovely looking loaf. The fact that it looked like a perfect vehicle for butter had me sold.

This bread is a quick bread, meaning there’s no yeast to bother with. It’s a snap to put together…if you can make a biscuit or a scone, this is no different. Plus, there are no eggs, so if you sub in the required non-dairies, you’ve got a great vegan bread. Normally, Irish soda bread is made with caraway seeds, but I didn’t have any on hand and decided to try fennel seeds instead. Definitely, a great choice. Along with the cinnamon, it made the bread super flavourful and definitely not bland or boring.

It is a dense bread, but I didn’t mind that one bit, and I definitely did not find this bread too dry. It was great smeared with cold butter the same day and it was even more wonderful toasted the following day. A dab of blackberry jam and a strong cup of coffee, this bread made for a filling breakfast. I don’t think I’ll have to wait for next St. Patrick’s day to make this again.

43 comments to “irish soda bread with fennel & cinnamon”

  1. 1
    VeggieGirl   March 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Looks delectable to me!! 😀

  2. 2
    Daily Spud   March 20, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Well, of course you don’t have to sell me on soda bread, Irish or otherwise… 🙂

    Must give the fennel variation a whirl, think I’d like that.

  3. 3
    Heidi / Savory Tv   March 20, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I actually prefer a dense bread at times. Thank you for sharing, this is a must try recipe!

  4. 4
    bellcurves   March 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Looks wonderful! I’ll have to give this a try. I make Irish Soda Bread every St. Patty’s day, so maybe this will the one I try next year–if not sooner! Pairs well w/ coffee for sure!

  5. 5
    Not Another Omnivore   March 20, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    This looks fantastic! I’m glad you pointed out the easy vegan-ness of it…


  6. 6
    Hayley   March 20, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I’m so glad you liked my post! I love the variations you made, I’ll have to try them out. The bread lasted all of a few hours at my house, so I think we’re due for another loaf.

  7. 7
    eatme_delicious   March 21, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Drooooool this looks SO good. Especially with the large amounts of melted butter on that toasted slice mmmmm. You’ve inspired me to make Irish soda bread!

  8. 8
    kickpleat   March 21, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks VeggieGirl!

    Naturally, Daily Spud 😉 But try the fennel…it’s great!

    Thanks Heidi!

    Oh yes, bellcurves, try this sooner!

    Yup, naomni, it’s definitely easy to veganize!

    Thanks Haley for the great recipe!

    haha, definitely better with butter, eatme!

  9. 9
    Bijoux   March 21, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    mmm…bread and butter – how I love thee! I have a love/hate relationship with bread. I love to eat it, but I hate that it ends up in the trunk 😉 Looks delicious and hearty!

  10. 10
    Karina Allrich   March 21, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Your soda bread looks divine. I love that you used yogurt. And a dab of blackberry jam? Perfect.

  11. 11
    CookiePie   March 22, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Fennel – what a fabulous substitution – I bet it was delicious!!

  12. 12
    Aimée   March 22, 2009 at 6:55 am

    Nicest soda bread I’ve ever seen! Too bad it does have a bum rap.

  13. 13
    hag   March 23, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    oooh boy, that looks good…especialy toasted with the glistening butter!

  14. 14
    Dawn   March 23, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I love Hayley’s recipes: always flavorful, never dull.
    Just like yours. I do like irish soda bread, but mine has to be a tad bit moist and/or have some flavor to it.
    So this has to be bookmarked for me, for later.

  15. 15
    kickpleat   March 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Ah Bijoux, live a little! Mmmm, bread and butter have never hurt anyone, really!

    Thanks Karina, it was great with the yogurt…a little bit of sweetness.

    It was cookiepie!

    Aimee, yeah, what’s with the bum rap? Well, I’m a convert.

    Yup, it was delicious, hag!

    Thanks Dawn.

  16. 16
    hilary   March 24, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I just made this, and it’s deeelicious. Thanks, kickpleat 🙂

  17. 17
    kickpleat   March 30, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Yay, Hilary, glad you loved this!

  18. 18
    Rachael   March 31, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    This looks delicious! The one time I attempted to make Irish Soda bread was a disaster. Well, I thought it was…because it had no taste! This looks like a great variation to try out!

  19. 19
    Afton   April 3, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    this looks AMAZING. i’m glad our blog love is mutual!

  20. 20
    kickpleat   April 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Rachael, this definitely has loads of taste!

    Afton, me too 🙂

  21. 21
    terpkristin   March 12, 2010 at 4:24 am

    What is wheat bran? Is it like wheat germ? Or cereal? Where would I find it in a grocery store? Looks yummy, I added it to my recipe file–will try to make it this weekend!

  22. 22
    kickpleat   March 12, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Yes, it’s like wheat germ. You can find it either with the baking supplies or cereals. Good luck!

  23. 23
    Margot   March 12, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    This looks like a great new version to try. I usually make mine quite simply with only the addition of raisins and/or dried cranberries as well. I’ve never tried caraway or fennel seeds – now I am anxious to attempt both.
    As for my favorite way to eat this bread: warm with some raspberry jam.

  24. 24
    Kare   March 15, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Mmm, cinnamon, great addition! Love it.

    Happy Irish Soda Bread Season! 🙂

  25. 25
    Jenni   April 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    LOVE IT. Easy peasy, and made me look like a TOTAL pro. Thank you so much! 🙂

  26. 26
    Ann   May 17, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I made this as a side to an irish lamb stew…..brilliant.

  27. 27
    Megan Sutherland   June 8, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    The best soda bread I’ve ever had. Will become a staple.

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