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It Only Comes Once a Year: Irish Soda Bread

My dad makes Irish soda bread once every year and it always appears in the kitchen around St. Patrick's Day. Irish soda bread is a dense bread that is quite simple to make. This traditional recipe — it's from my Irish-born great-grandmother — includes caraway seeds and raisins. While you could leave these ingredients out, they are surprisingly delicious in the bread. It's an exceptional breakfast treat especially when lightly toasted and generously buttered. It would make a wonderful hostess gift or an accompaniment to Irish stew. To check out the recipe,

.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

cooking spray or butter for the pan
2 cups flour, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons caraway seeds (If you don't like them you can leave them out)
1/2 cup raisins
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray pan with cooking spray or rub with butter. Dust bottom and sides of pan with flour.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt with a wooden spoon.
  4. Stir in seeds and raisins.
  5. With a fork lightly beat the eggs and milk.
  6. Gradually add eggs and milk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a sticky, thick dough.
  7. Turn the dough into a 5 x 9 loaf pan or a round 8-inch pan. Sprinkle a little flour on the top.
  8. Bake for 1 hour for loaf pan or 50 minutes for round.
  9. Turn out of pan onto wire rack to cool. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf of bread.

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HeatherFeather HeatherFeather 7 years
This was such a disappointing recipe. It was far too chewy for real Irish Soda bread and tasted like a muffin. It should have fewer eggs and more butter for a crumblier or flakier bread.
Rebecca101 Rebecca101 7 years
I have a soda bread recipe from my irish grandmother that I make at least once a year, and it's delicious! There's no caraway seeds (which frankly makes me think Rye bread), and it has a very mild glaze (it really just makes it a little shiny, doesn't really add any sweetness). I can't wait to taste some next week!
katejlogan katejlogan 8 years
I never had Irish soda bread until I started working in a bakery while in college and I LOVE it. I've started making it for my kids so I can get them to like it early. There is something about the caraway seeds that can't be replaced. I can take or leave the raisins I can't skip the caraway seeds.
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 8 years
At last a fairly simple recipe for a wonderful treat that friends of mine used to bring to work each Monday! I think I might leave out the raisins, though. It's a texture thing for me. :)
KKAK KKAK 8 years
My Irish grand mother didn't make it and my Polish aunt made the best Irish soda bread..with raisins and caraway(a must).
EllaDee EllaDee 8 years
This sounds delicious. I must try this recipe this weekend.
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 8 years
Annstofflet, that's interesting. I'm Irish and your soda bread recipe sounds more familiar to me. I've eaten it all my life (sweet, warm with real butter and raspberry jam. Savory, with cheddar cheese and ballymaloe relish) and I don't think I've ever had it with raisins, and I definitely have never had it with caraway seeds. Maybe the recipe simplified down through the years.
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 8 years
Annstofflet, that's interesting. I'm Irish and your soda bread recipe sounds more familiar to me. I've eaten it all my life (sweet, warm with real butter and raspberry jam. Savory, with cheddar cheese and ballymaloe relish) and I don't think I've ever had it with raisins, and I definitely have never had it with caraway seeds. Maybe the recipe simplified down through the years.
SugarCat SugarCat 8 years
Planning on having some this weekend! :)
wonderful-me wonderful-me 8 years
Im Irish, living in Dublin! :) Not a fan of this bread, but Im glad to see that u guys are interested in our culture! Hope you're all celebrating Paddys Day ... 17th March!
wonderful-me wonderful-me 8 years
Im Irish, living in Dublin! :)Not a fan of this bread, but Im glad to see that u guys are interested in our culture! Hope you're all celebrating Paddys Day ... 17th March!
annstofflet annstofflet 8 years
I love Irish Soda Bread - it's not sweet like cake. It's flaky and dense at the same time and is especially great with butter. I'm not a fan of the caraway seeds, so I would leave them out - they're too fragrant and perfume-y for my taste. I just read an article that was talking about it which said that according to Oxford, real Irish soda bread was invented back in 1840s, has only 4 ingredients: flour, soured milk (or buttermilk), baking soda and salt, which I found interesting. I'm not sure, but I think my great grandmother's recipe has raisins and sugar and eggs to. They also said that it is believed that the first culture to make soda bread using soda ash were the Native Americans. :-)
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 8 years
I've never had this before but I'd like to try it. Is the bread itself very sweet?
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
I had 2 grandmothers born in Ireland. One made the bread with the seeds and one without.
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 8 years
an irish classic, very nice.
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 8 years
an irish classic, very nice.
Angelica Angelica 8 years
It was even better this year than it was last year! Thanks for the treat party!
Leenie11 Leenie11 8 years
Nice Party! I've been waiting for you to post a soda bread recipe all week. My irish great-grandmother brought her recipe over on the boat with her and she never used caraway seeds, not sure why, maybe at a certain point they were hard to get?
kwikwit kwikwit 8 years
Drooling here! Warm and slathered in butter...the best. I'll have to make some over the weekend and bring it into work on Monday (get it out of the house so I don't eat all of it).
kiwitwist kiwitwist 8 years
Minus the caraway seeds and I am all for it LOL!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Sounds okay...
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Sounds okay...
Advah Advah 8 years
I never had soda bread, and was always grossed out by the name. But now I know what's in it, I'll bake it tonight! :P Thanks for sharing the recipe, Chiefdishwasher! :)
Advah Advah 8 years
I never had soda bread, and was always grossed out by the name. But now I know what's in it, I'll bake it tonight! :PThanks for sharing the recipe, Chiefdishwasher! :)
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