Irish Soda Shamrock Bread

What is Irish soda shamrock bread? Traditional Irish soda bread in the shape of a shamrock, of course. We hope you didn’t put away your heart shaped cookie cutters just because Valentines Day has past, because St. Patricks Day is right around the corner! If you’ve got a big heart cookie cutter, then now is the time to use it again.

A heart shape is the perfect shape to form the leaves of a clover. We made a normal clover, but you might decide to throw a 4th heart in there for luck!

irish soda shamrock

Irish Soda Shamrock Bread

Ingredients for Irish Soda Shamrock Bread

There are lots of recipes for Irish soda bread floating around the internet, so we decided to use the one that seemed to be the most authentic. This one from the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread claims that real soda bread uses only 4 ingredients. This recipe was easy to make, came out great and tasted traditional; making us also question why anyone would mess with an age old recipe like this.


Irish Soda Shamrock Bread

Instructions for Irish Soda Shamrock Bread

What’s needed to make shamrock bread for St. Patrick’s day? Well, besides the four basic ingredients of flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk to make Irish soda bread… all you need is a large heart cookie cutter! Here’s how to make shamrock Irish soda bread.

First, follow the Irish soda bread recipe directions (we used the one for white soda bread), but instead of shaping the dough into a ball, roll it out flat.

Next, grab a large heart shaped cookie cutter (unless of course you own a large shamrock pan – see the note about density in the ‘additional info’ section below) and make cut-outs just like you would cut-out cookies.

Last, bake according to the official directions, but for less time. Depending on the size of your cookie cutter, about 15 minutes under the pan and then maybe another 5-10 after the pan is removed. The crust should be golden brown.


Additional Information

Note: There’s a slight problem or advantage (depending on your outlook) when you roll out the soda bread dough before baking, the resulting bread becomes more like pita bread than soda bread. The dough puffs up while baking and becomes hollow in the middle, providing a perfect spot to hold the butter yet changing the density of the bread. The dough that was rolled out and then cut is shown on the right in the picture below and in all the above pictures.


Since we also have a heart shaped pan, we tried pressing the dough directly into the heart shaped holes of the pan instead of rolling it out. The hearts were not as pretty, but they were proper soda bread consistency. Irish soda bread placed directly into a pan is shown on the left in the above picture and shown assembled into shamrock bread below.


For information on the shelf life of baking soda, check our baking soda page.

For St. Patrick’s day dessert, try shamrock cakes.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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