Recipe: Irish Soda Bread

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With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, it makes me think about all the special Irish recipes we have grown to love: Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage, colcannon, bangers and so many other hearty favorites.

I love going in the grocery and seeing the Irish soda bread which is available at this time. It’s one of my favorites, so I decided to try making my own this year. It really was much easier and faster than I imagined, so it will definitely join my repertory of recipes!


Irish Soda Bread


4 cups flour

4 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

Raisins (optional)–I used dried cranberries because I love them!

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup buttermilk



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a medium baking sheet.

Mix the dry ingredients–the flour, baking soda, baking powder salt, sugar, margarine– together. Add the one cup of milk or buttermilk  and egg to form a loose dough.  Add raisins, if desired,

Place the dough on a floured board, and knead the dough until smooth, Form the dough into a round about two inches high  and place it on the baking sheet.  Combine your 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/4 cup buttermilk, and brush the mixture on top of your loaf to enhance it. Make a large cross in the top of the dough with a sharp knife–the cross will ward off the Devil, according to old Irish folklore.

Bake your loaf on the greased baking sheet for 45 to 50 minutes; or until  a toothpick inserted into the center of the load comes out clean.  Let the loaf cool before serving.

The whole process of making and baking takes about an hour which was much faster than I had anticipated it would be.

This recipe makes a one-and-a-half pound loaf, which yields 10-20 servings, depending on how large your slices are.

My slice tasted wonderful with melted butter and a dab of homemade wild blackberry jam.

For another delicious Irish recipe, check out this post.

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