Saturday, March 12, 2016

Irish Soda Bread

Very early this morning, the Chicago River was dyed kelly green.  This tradition has been going on since 1962.  This means that in my kitchen, the time has come to pull out a few Irish recipes to enjoy leading up to St. Patrick's Day.  My grandmother made soda bread year around.  As far as I know, she never wrote down the recipe.  I've tried many different recipes to duplicate her loaf and this one comes the closest.  She baked hers in two loaf pans.  I opt for the more traditional round loaf since it is a rather sticky batter that I feel would stick to loaf pans no matter how well greased.  Sliced and slathered with sweet butter and orange marmalade, it is an early spring treat.

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups flour, plus extra for raisins and candied orange peel
5 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
1 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup candied orange peel
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

1.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Combine on low speed for 30 seconds.  Scatter the butter in and mix, on low speed, until the butter is crumbled into the flour.
2.  In another bowl, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg and orange zest together.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture for about 1 minute or until flour is incorporated.  Combine the raisins and candied orange peel with one tablespoon of flour and then mix into the dough.  The dough will be very wet and sticky.
3.  Liberally flour a wooden board and scrape the dough out onto the board.  Using well-floured hands (I used a dough scraper too), knead the dough a few times and form into a rough, round loaf.  Place the loaf onto the prepared sheet pan and cut an X into the top (not easy with the soft dough--I ended up cutting a rough X with kitchen scissors).  Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  The loaf should sound hollow when tapped.
4.  Cool on a rack.  Delicious served warm or at room temperature.



  1. This sounds delicious, Bonnie! It diunds almost like cake with the addition of sugar and orange zest and candied orange peel. Mine is more plain. Every time I make Irish Soda Bread I wonder why I din't make it more often, as it tastes so good!

  2. Sounds delicious. I, to, have tried numerous recipes.... I love the orange and raisins in yours.

  3. I wonder how they get the green out of the river. Your bread looks good .. and so nicely photographed.

    1. It dissipates fairly quickly and is supposed to be eco-friendly.

  4. Love the addition of candied orange peel! Bet this is very tasty-Happy St. Patty's Week:@)

  5. I have never made it, but I like eating it!!! Looks yummy!
    xo Kris

  6. I've never made soda bread but my SIl is Irish and makes her mother's recipe every year. Perfect for St. Patty's Day.

  7. This sounds delicious Bonnie. I will have to try it.

  8. This sounds delicious Bonnie. I will have to try it.

  9. I have yet to either taste or make Irish soda bread but one year I will definitely try it. I like the grated orange peel in your recipe!

  10. what lovely Irish bread Bonnie, I dont understand why I dont saw before. Look delicious.
    Love make bread.


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