Any Irish soda bread can be cooked in a cast iron skillet, whether the directions call for it or not. Here's why it's a great idea to do it.

It's been well-established that cast iron is my favorite skillet material. But even beyond how perfect it is for high-heat items (like steak), it's also perfectly suited to baking.

Some recipes call for the pan by name (like this Soda Bread in a Skillet) while others don't (like Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread). Just know it'll work either way, but it's really worth giving the cast-iron skillet a try.

Irish soda bread baked in a cast iron skillet
Credit: Katherine Martinelli

Why Is Cast Iron Better?

Once again, cast iron's ability to get hot and stay hot is the key to its versatility in the oven:

  • Crusts are thicker and more browned from the high, direct heat.
  • Ultra-even heating. Cast iron's thermal density keeps the overall temperature in the oven more consistent and even.
  • If you pre-heat the oven with the pan inside, the crust will be even thicker. Just be careful to protect your hands well when you pick up the pan — that cast iron is hot!
  • The sloping sides keep quick bread doughs like soda bread from losing shape.

As a matter of fact, some cooks always keep a cast iron pan in their oven, because it helps keep the temperature more stable, sort of like a pizza stone with sides.

Spotted Dog Irish Soda Bread baked in a cast iron skillet
Credit: Alaska Julie