Friday, March 12, 2010

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day!

About 32 years ago, a dear friend called me on St. Patrick's Day and gave me a recipe for "Irish Soda Bread" - which I believe is an Irish tradition. I have made that on St. Patrick's Day for many years. Here is my most recent (and healthier) version:

Irish Soda Bread

The night before baking, combine:
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups kefir or cultured buttermilk

Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature overnight.

The next morning:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Butter a cast iron frying pan.

Drain the raisins and walnuts through a strainer.

Beat 1 egg
Sift together 1 cup unbleached flour, 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda
Melt 4 Tablespoons butter

Stir the egg and butter into the soaked whole wheat mixture.

Add the soaked, drained, raisins and walnuts and stir well to combine.

Stir in the sifted flour mixture. Turn dough onto well floured surface and gently form into a round loaf and place in the buttered pan.

Bake for about 50 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, check that the inside temperature of the loaf is about 200 degrees F. If not, don't worry, but that is what I did because I wasn't sure about the baking time.

Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cold. May be frozen for a few weeks, well wrapped.

This bread is so simple, so delicious, and served with boiled cabbage and potatoes, you'll have a real Irish feast!

Ingredient list, to make this more simple:

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups kefir or cultured buttermilk
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
warm water
1 egg, beaten
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt


  1. I have never tasted soda bread. I bet its good. Have a great day.

  2. Could you bake it in a loaf shape on a cookie sheet?

  3. Yes. You might want to add a little more unbleached flour on baking day.


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