Irish soda bread is a delicious quick bread that is very easy to prepare. I loved it the first time I ever tasted it was at my friend’s home. My friend is of Irish descent and she makes wonderful quick breads with spelt flour. Like all expert homemakers, she makes it with the touch of the fingers and the measure of the mind. There is no exact recipe or measurement but it comes out perfect each time.
On St. Patrick’s Day, we are all Irish. Each year I prepare corn beef and cabbage because the family enjoys it. I also make soda bread from a recipe in a cookbook my boys gave me for my birthday some years back. The bread comes out perfect each time. It is moist and delicious and the aroma from the baked bread is just amazing! I like to eat it warm with butter and a cup of tea.
This recipe was adapted from the cookbook Celebration Breads by Betsy Oppenneer.
- 2 cups (300g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp grated orange zest
- 4 tbsp (60g) butter
- ½ cup (80g) raisins
- 1 cup (240ml) low fat buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, caraway seeds, sugar, and orange zest until well combined. Cut in butter with pastry blender or using 2 knives until dry ingredients resemble coarse breadcrumbs.
Stir in raisins.
Add buttermilk and stir to mix. Gently knead several times until dough forms.
Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and pat to form a 6 inch circle. Dust loaf with flour. Cut a cross on the top of the loaf about ½ inch deep.
Bake for approximately 35 minutes. When you tap the loaf, it should have a hollow sound.
Remove and cool on a rack.
Irish Breakfast tea is a blend of several black teas, mainly Assam. It is full bodied and has a nice, rich amber color. To brew this tea, please check my post on Brewing the Perfect Cup of Black Tea.
Corned beef and cabbage always remind me of the old comic strip Bringing Up Father with Jiggs and Maggie. Jiggs was an Irishman who became rich in the United States but still maintained his old ways. He loved eating corned beef and cabbage, much to the consternation of his wife, Maggie who was a social climber out to impress. It was a fun syndicated strip to read.
NOTE: This post was updated on March 12th, 2013 with new pictures. Minor changes were made to the write-up but the recipe remains the same.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!