In the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day we devour Irish Soda Bread at an alarming rate in my house! Such a loved favorite it is I have to bake it myself to keep up with the demand.
The soda in the name comes from the baking soda used as a leavener in the simple quickbread batter made from whole wheat and white flour, eggs, raisins, buttermilk and a touch of sugar.
It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that is delicious toasted with butter or cream cheese and jam for breakfast. I know of no better accompaniment for a bowl of soup or a hearty stew.
In this version I used all white whole wheat flour and swapped out half the golden raisins for dried cranberries. My preference is to use half whole wheat and half white flours, but it is quite adaptable to any kind or combination of flours you prefer. Use any type of dried fruit you like or omit it entirely. I’ve seen some with caraway seeds and even one with sun-dried tomatoes in it.
The bread dries out fairly quickly so plan on eating it in a day or two, although toasting it easily takes care of that. If your family is anything like mine it won’t be around long enough.
I love the rustic look of the craggy, crackly crust!