Simple Irish Tea Bread Recipe

This Irish Tea Bread is tasty lightly sweet bread that is perfect anytime, breakfast or snack. Serve it with a little jam or butter. It goes perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

tea bread on a black napkin

This year I purchased an Irish Baking Book by Ruth Isabel Roth, and that’s where I discovered this Irish Tea Bread Recipe. This bread reminded me of a large scone, some might think it’s more like an Irish Soda Bread, which is made with baking soda.

I found this tea bread a little bit denser and a bit moister than a scone or soda bread. It was perfect spread with some butter or jam. We thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope you enjoy it too!

How to make it

In a large bowl whisk the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the butter and combine to form coarse crumbs.

Mix in the sugar, add the egg and milk and mix with a fork until just combined.

dry ingredients mixed with butter and milk and egg added to the glass bowl

Move to a lightly floured flat surface and gently knead to combine to form a dough ball.

the dough mixed and on a lightly floured wooden board

Form into a round or oval shape. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Prick with a fork or score the dough.

the dough shaped and scored on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet

Bake in a pre-heated oven until golden.

What is the difference between Baking Powder and Baking Soda

Baking powder and baking soda are both leaveners, however they are chemically different. Baking soda contains one ingredient, sodium bicarbonate, and it is 3-4 times stronger than baking powder. There needs to be some form of acid in the recipe, such as yogurt, buttermilk, brown sugar or lemon juice to react with the baking soda, which will create carbon dioxide and this allows your baked good to rise. Although too much in a recipe can give you a metallic taste, a good rule of thumb is to use about 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for 1 cup of flour in a recipe.

Whereas baking powder contains baking soda, cream of tartar and sometimes corn starch. Since it already contains an acid (cream of tarter) it is used in recipes that do not contain an acidic ingredient. Although in some recipes it is used in combination with baking soda. Like these Chocolate Chip Muffins.

tea bread on a napkin

How to tell if the Baking Powder or Soda is active

Besides making sure the date of expiry hasn’t passed you can also do a hot water test, drop a teaspoon of baking powder or soda into a cup of hot water. If it bubbles a lot then the baking powder is still good. If it doesn’t, then you should purchase a new box.

How to store the bread

This bread will keep for 3-4 days when wrapped tightly 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 Irish Tea Bread is as quick and easy as you can get. Let me know if you try it. Enjoy!

bread on a napkin with 2 slices cut
bread on a black & grey napkin

Irish Tea Bread

Rosemary Molloy
This Irish Tea Bread is tasty lightly sweet bread that is perfect anytime, breakfast or snack. Serve it with a little jam or butter.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Irish
Servings 1 loaf
Calories 1618 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups +2 tablespoons all purpose flour (280 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ cup butter (salted cold) (60 grams)
  • tablespoons granulated sugar (40 grams)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup ½ tablespoon milk (I used whole milk) (130 grams)

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl whisk the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the butter and combine to form coarse crumbs.
  • Mix in the sugar, add the egg and milk and mix with a fork until just combined.
  • Move to a lightly floured flat surface and gently knead to combine to form a dough ball.
  • Form into a round or oval shape. Place on a prepared cookie sheet. Prick with a fork or score the dough. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until golden. Check for doneness with a toothpick.

Notes

This recipe makes a smaller loaf serves about 5-6 people, the recipe can be doubled.

Nutrition

Calories: 1618kcalCarbohydrates: 238gProtein: 36gFat: 57gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 198mgSodium: 2463mgPotassium: 524mgFiber: 7gSugar: 46gVitamin A: 2498IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 574mgIron: 13mg
Keyword Irish tea bread, tea bread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 Comments

  1. Just to comment that I so enjoy your recipes, even when I don’t always have the time to try them. Your writing style reminds me of the New Zealand cook Alison Holst, informative, chatty with the added bonus of your Italian recipes and enjoyment. Thank you.

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