Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Irish Soda Bread~ St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day is only 5 days away and that means that it is time to start planning your St. Patrick's Day menu. I always enjoy planning my St. Patrick's Day meal as the dishes are always interesting and "Oh so Tasty"! It is a great time to cook with some alcohol such as an Irish beer, stout or ale or an Irish whiskey or even some Irish cream. Corned Beef and Cabbage is of course a favorite for a main but there are plenty of options and lets not forget that there are some really delicious desserts...list and links below. If you do make some corned beef, be sure to make a lot because the leftovers for a Reuben sandwich can be even better than the dish that they came from.

Since many of us do not know the history of Irish soda bread, I thought I would give you a little history, before diving into the delicious recipe.

Irish soda bread is a type of quick bread that uses baking soda as a leavener. While this may not seem like much of a revelation these days due to the prevalence of baking soda in all kinds of recipes, it was a boon to bakers in Ireland in the mid 1800s. At that time, Ireland did not have a strong tradition of yeast bread making because, unlike many other European countries, the country did not produce much of the high-protein (hard wheat) flour necessary for making good yeast breads. When baking soda was introduced to the country, it pretty much replaced yeast. It produced a reliable rise in the oven, made tasty loaves of bread and would work perfectly with the softer Irish flour.
Soda bread has four basic ingredients: flour, buttermilk, baking soda and salt.  The reaction between the buttermilk and baking soda produces bubbles of carbon dioxide, causing the dough to rise. The breads are fairly dense, moist and hearty (and satisfying for a cold and damp climate!). Moving beyond the basic elements, they can be flavored in any number of ways. Today, the breads often contain additional ingredients, like sugar, butter, raisins or caraway seeds to enhance the flavor and texture of the bread. It is best served the day that it is made, when the crust is crisp from the oven, with plenty of salted Irish butter.

Irish Soda Bread

1/2 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour 
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 c. currants (I like currants, but you can use raisins)
1 T. caraway seeds
3/4 c. buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a food processor, put the oatmeal in and pulse until finely ground. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, buttermilk,  and salt, pulse to blend together. Then add the currants and caraway seeds, just pulse a few times to just blend in.  

the dough into a round and put onto a baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes. If you tap the top of the bread, it will give a hollow sound, when done. 

Remove from oven and let it cool.  Serve with pure Irish Butter...mmmmmm

To complete your St. Patrick's dinner. Check out past posts. Just double click on the recipe you like and go straight to the page!

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Reuben Sandwich 

Shepard's pie

Pork Shepard's Pie

Sarah's Pulled Pork Bruschetta or sliders 
I put this thinking you could substitute Guiness beer for the 1 cup of chicken broth giving this delicious dish an Irish spin!!

Irish Coffee Caramel Mousse

A St.Patrick's table

If you are going to a St. Patrick's Day celebration at a friends home, take the hostess something homemade. I like to wrap a embroidered towel around a nice bottle wine. Or .....make one for your powder room!


  1. I made this last night , my boyfriend nearly proposed, he was so impressed! Thank you for inspiring me to go beyond the basics! Ciao! Lana

  2. BEST Irish Soda Bread recipe I have tried. Had friends for dinner last night and they took the extra slices home to toast for breakfast! Yum!!!
    Also served it with Irish butter...... "it's the best! SQK

  3. Thank you, thank you!! I love to reply to comments and especially positive comments!! @Lana I am hoping you secure the deal with the boyfriend!! Maybe make him the lasagna, either traditional or the healthy version! Guys love it! I just made it for Wee Bear's Frat Brothers who were here for 3 nights, they loved it with some Texas toast and a Caesar salad!! @SQK I am hoping your friends enjoy their toast, Wee Bear and I do the same!! Thank you for visiting my blog!! :-)

  4. That is so funny–I am actually eating soda bread right now, that the head Irish woman here at the office baked for everybody. YUM! it is delicious. And I am so bad for eating it. Damn! No more bread for a week!



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