By Noel Christmas

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, especially this:

Cast-Iron Irish Soda Bread

Cast-Iron Irish Soda Bread | Photo by BEV

Any soda bread can be cooked in a skillet, whether the directions call for it or not. Some call for the pan by name (like this Soda Bread in a Skillet) while others don't (like this Amazing Easy version). Just know it'll work either way, but it's really worth giving the cast-iron skillet a try.

Why Is It 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 and use a hot pad—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 | Photo by Alaska Julie