Saturday, March 12, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

Slices of delicious Soda Bread  
I love St. Patrick's Day! Ever since I was a small child we would gather to watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade on TV.  In the New York area it was several hours long. My mom loved the step dancers and would tell us how, when she was in school, they learned step dancing for their St. Patrick's Day play. She would then demonstrate!! She would make corned beef and cabbage and for the day, my Lebanese-Hungarian family would be Irish! I have been fortunate enough to have visited Ireland twice. It is a charming, beautiful country with castles and churches everywhere you go. The people are the friendliest people in the world.  They love Americans and they all know someone, or have family in the states. The countryside is physically enchanting….green meadows, thatched roof cottages, cobblestone streets and gorgeous seascapes with cliffs that drop deep into the sea! If you visit Ireland you are probably staying in a series of B&B's. Having breakfast in Ireland is an experience you will never forget! They serve black pudding, (also called blood sausage) not something I was going to try!  Fried tomatoes, fried Irish bacon and fried potatoes all served with fried eggs. One of the B&B's we stayed in near the Dingle Peninsula ( SW Ireland ) served us smoked salmon and a lovely egg dish. Delicious! Always with a proper pot of tea. One thing for sure, no matter where you eat breakfast, you will be served Soda Bread! Everyone has their own version, some sweet, some not so sweet.  I have never met a soda bread I didn't like! My version is one I have been making for probably 25 years. It has been adapted from the original, which was given to me by a friend. It is slightly sweet and the texture is lovely. Hope you'll give it a try.

Irish Soda Bread
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup of sugar ( If you like it sweeter you could add up to 1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
1 cup buttermilk

Mix all dry ingredients. Cut in butter as for pie. Then add buttermilk and mix. Place in a greased baking dish. Cut a cross in the top. It's traditional!  I use a pyrex 8 inch casserole. Bake in a 375° oven for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 350° for 40 minutes.
*Substitute for buttermilk--1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar added to milk to make one cup. Let stand 5 minutes.

Dry ingredients with butter cut in, raisins and caraway added.

Adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to milk
Placed in baking dish with the traditional cross cut into the top.

Top of the Morning to you all!


  1. I've always wanted to visit Ireland and I really enjoyed reading your description of it. I have heard that everyone there seems to have family here. Your Irish Soda bread looks wonderful and is a perfect way to celebrate the day!

  2. Kathy-Loved reading your post about your childhood, and your experience in Ireland.
    You Irish soda bread is the best looking one I have ever seen. With the crusty top, and the perfect loaf, you would think that the bread is made with yeast!
    Thanks for sharing your sweet story, and the great recipe!