This Chocolate Nut Irish Soda Bread is going to knock your socks off. It is a delicious twist on the original loaf loaded with chocolate and nuts. This is the perfect go-to recipe when you need a quick and easy no yeast bread!
If you have never had any kind of Irish Soda bread you are in for a treat. Last summer during one of my trips to Canada, we were gathered at my sister’s house for something or another and my daughter brought over a loaf of Irish Soda Bread she had just made in one of her baking courses. It was fantastic!
It was then that I was reintroduced to this special bread and reminded of how good it is. And so, I have made my own a few times since then. I must say that the addition of chocolate and nuts brings this already delicious bread to a whole new level.
You will notice I don’t specify which type of nut to use because the choice is yours. Many people like pecans while others prefer walnuts. I know almonds work nicely too.
With these easy steps, you will be enjoying a dense, yet soft, crusty Irish Soda Bread in no time! And if you really enjoy this bread, you will definitely love this Irish Tea Bread as well!
Table of Contents
Ingredients To Make Chocolate Nut Soda Bread
- Nuts: You can use whichever kind of nuts you prefer. Walnuts, hazelnuts, pecan and almonds are just a few of my favorite ones to use.
- Dark or Milk Chocolate: Make sure to get good quality chocolate for this recipe. The flavor will be much better when using a good kind of chocolate.
- All Purpose Flour: It’s the best flour to use for this recipe. The protein content found in all purpose flour is around 11.7% and it will make a bread that is still soft and tender.
- Baking Soda: The leavening agent of choice to make a soda bread. Soda bread is called specifically soda bread because it used baking soda as a rising agent instead of yeast and kneading.
- Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness to the bread, but also helps in browning and extends the shelf life of baked goods.
- Salt: Enhances the overall flavors found in the bread.
- Butter: Helps with the rising of the bread and adds a flaky texture which we love!
- Buttermilk: Gives the bread a moist and soft interior.
- Egg: Provides structure and helps bind the ingredients together.
How To Make Chocolate Nut Soda Bread in a Few Easy Steps
To begin, preheat your oven and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. That’s right, you don’t even need a loaf pan. In a small bowl mix chocolate and nuts together with flour.
In a separate larger bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, sugar and salt. Add in the butter and mix together. It should resemble coarse crumbs. Stir in the nut and chocolate mixture and add the egg & buttermilk then combine.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead dough bringing it together to form a loaf shape. Place loaf back onto a prepared baking sheet and score the top crosswise. Bake in the oven until done.
Remove loaf and immediately transfer to a cooling rack.
Why is the batter sticky?
Fun fact, the batter is sticky because of the room temperature butter! The colder the butter, the less sticky the dough will be.
Why score the top of the loaf?
Traditional Irish Catholic legend has it that the top of the bread is cut into a cross with a knife to ward off the devil. It was also scored for superstitious reasons. Families believed that scoring a cross on top of the bread would let the fairies out and protect the family.
Technically and practically, it is, in fact, to make sure the centre gets baked enough. It is meant to be a rustic, unpolished looking bread, so the shape isn’t quite uniform. Therefore it is important to make sure it gets baked evenly.
Why do I not use yeast?
This is a quick bread, which means there is no need for temperature control, kneading or waiting around for the dough to rise! When making this Chocolate and Nut Irish Soda Bread it is actually the baking soda and buttermilk that does the leavening as well as it gives it a wonderful flavour.
What is soda bread used for?
Despite its wonderful texture and unique qualities, it really can be used as your everyday bread. It makes a great crusty bread for dipping in stews for a comforting weeknight meal.
With the addition of the chocolate and nuts in this recipe, it becomes a wonderful sweeter bread, perfect for breakfast or as a snack with a bit of jam or butter on top.
How to store Irish Soda Bread it
This bread will keep for 3-4 days when wrapped tightly at room temperature and up to 3 months in the freezer.
I know the thought of baking bread can sometimes be intimidating but rest assured this no yeast bread is as quick and easy as you can get. Have fun!
More Soda Bread Recipes
Chocolate Nut Irish Soda Bread
- 1/4 cup nuts (37 grams)
- 2 1/2 ounces good quality dark or milk chocolate chopped (70 grams)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (312 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 1 cup buttermilk (240 grams)
- 1 large egg
- Pre-heat oven to 375F (190C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl mix the nuts and chocolate together with a teaspoon of flour.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, sugar and salt. Add the butter and mix to form coarse crumbs. Stir in the nut mixture. Then add the egg and the butter milk and combine.
- Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead a minute or two to bring the dough together and form into a round loaf shape. Then place on the prepared cookie sheet, make a 1 inch (2.2 cm) deep cross on the top of the loaf and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the loaf immediately to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!