Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ye Original Irish Soda Bread

For me, it wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day if I didn't make Soda Bread.  I've made a few adjustments in the recipe over the years, which is different from my Mum's, but the basic ingredients are still there to bring back the memories.  She loved making this for my Dad and he loved eating it.  To us, it was more a cake than a bread, studded with plump raisins, but there's no reason why you couldn't substitute dried cranberries, apricots, cherries or even blueberries to serve this any time of the year.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

About 6 hours before (or even overnight) soak 1 cup raisins (I actually combined golden and regular raisins and currants) in Irish whiskey to cover
Preheat oven 425F-degrees and line baking sheet with parchment
4 - 5 cups all purpose flour
3 T. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. coarse salt
In a food processor and using the metal blade, combine the dry ingredients. Next, add:
4 T. cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Pulse into the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
2 cups Buttermilk
1 egg
Whisk the egg into the buttermilk and then, add to the dry ingredients.  The dough will be wet.

Drain the "happy" raisins and add to the mixture.  Add up to a cup more flour to bring the dough together.  Knead carefully, then, transfer round(s) to a baking sheet.  Slash the top, marking a cross, with a serrated knife.  Brush with an additional egg/1 T. milk mixture to give the bread a nice sheen.  (Note: I made two loaves so I could bring one to my daughter's house).

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown and a tester comes out clean.  Let cool on baking sheet before cutting.  You can also do as my mother did...she baked the bread the night before and wrapped it in a kitchen towel so we could have it in the morning.  Enjoy!


  1. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Irish soda bread always reminds me of my Nana. Her family was from Ireland and now for me St. Patrick's day is in memory of her - she truly enjoyed this day and the traditional meal that goes with it : )

  2. I know what you mean. Every time I bake I have flashbacks of my mother's kitchen; soda bread, Colcannon, corn beef, etc. To me, tradition is everything because it's a part of who we are and where we've come from...and I'm proud of that.