A Simple Bread for a Simple Life

Kalamata Olive Irish Soda Rolls

The dogs always seem to want up before the sun. I'm not sure what it will be like when we get chickens, but I hope my sluggish eyes can keep up with their demands. The sun rises right over the white barn that sits at the edge of our neighbor's property and blinds us by 10 in the morning. The house needs curtains. We are not shut-ins, but we need our own form of privacy from the world, the elements, the mailman, and the buzzards that circle and circle and circle the roadside.

We bought food in bulk before we moved in, things we thought we'd crave that weren't perishable. We have a sack of rice hidden in the back of the cupboard behind the dog food. Pasta sauce that doesn't look as appealing as it did on the store shelf. In the back of the cabinet, behind the clover honey and the tomato paste, I found a jar of kalamata olives that became the inspiration for this bread. 

While a quick bread is not my go-to, I love the ease and convenience of this Irish soda bread, cut into rolls and kneaded by hand. They are still delicate, crumbly, and can last for a couple days. Just long enough to enjoy for the weekend while watching the sun cast shadows on the house you own now.

Olive Irish Soda Rolls

Kalamata Olive Irish Soda Rolls


  • 4 cup AP flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 TB cultured butter (or unsalted butter), cold
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives


  1. Preheat oven to 375*F and grease a 12 inch cast iron skillet or casserole dish 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients
  3. Using your hands, pinch your butter between your fingers into the dry mixture until fats are the size of peas
  4. Create a well in the center of your ingredients and, using a wooden spoon, slowly stir in your buttermilk and egg
  5. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until dough is springy (will be sticky at first)
  6. Knead in olives
  7. Cut into eights and roll into balls
  8. Place into greased skillet and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown
Kalamata Olive Irish Soda Rolls
Kalamata Olive Irish Soda Rolls
Kalamata Olive Irish Soda Rolls
Kalamata Olive Irish Soda Rolls