Luck O’ the Irish Soda Bread


St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday I fully support. In some ways it is kind of like the kick-off party to spring: it brings in lots of fun, friends and booze. Plus, it’s the only holiday where bearing my freckles is not only acceptable, but encouraged.

The best part of St. Patrick’s Day, in my humble opinion, is Irish soda bread.

Irish soda bread is kind of a funny thing, because when made well it is FANTASTIC and when made poorly it is coarse, dry and just not very good at all. My first experience with Irish soda bread was of the latter variety and I was not particularly excited to give the bread a second chance. However, I had to make it for Home Ec in high school, and much to my surprise, I absolutely loved it. Just goes to show that a good recipe really makes a difference.

I have been using that same recipe from Home Ec ever since. I will note that this recipe yields an Irish soda bread that is moister and cakier than most traditional varieties. I happen to like that better. If a drier bread is what you’re after, then this recipe is not for you. However, I have found that you can compensate for this by overcooking the bread a little. A LITTLE.

The difference between a doughy bread, a slightly crunchier, drier bread, and a burnt bread is, in all seriousness, 5 minutes (or less). So be careful. Generally I find cooking the bread the full 60 minutes will give me a bread that I am very happy with.

So give it a whirl! Let me know what you think! And most importantly, have a very happy St. Patrick’s Day!

One more thing! Don’t skimp on the raisins!

Happy Eating 🙂

3 ½ c flour

¾ c Sugar

2 tsp Baking powder

½ tsp Baking soda

½ tsp Salt

¾ butter, soft

1 egg

1 ¼ c Buttermilk

½-1 c Raisins

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease pan.
  2. Measure flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Mix softened butter to the flour mixture. It should look fairly crumb-y when it is mixed.
  4. Mix buttermilk and egg together in a separate bowl.
  5. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and mix well. The mixture will be VERY thick. Stir in raisins.

1 large loaf = 55-60 minutes or 4 or 5 small loaves = 30 minutes