With St. Patrick’s Day coming up next month I figured I would share the recipe to one of my favorite sides. Every year my wife will make a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage with Irish Soda bread and I add the green beer (3-4 drops of food coloring into your favorite beer, as long as it is of a yellow tinted color), so I figured why not post a recipe for Irish Soda Bread (arán sóide). Just like the bagpipes weren’t invented by the Scots, the chemical reaction that makes Soda Bread what it is, wasn’t invented by the Irish. The earliest reference to using soda ash in baking bread seems to be credited to American Indians using it to leaven their bread. Pearl Ash was used prior to 1800 to make cakes by combining it with an acidic ingredient in the dough. However, as the Scots have made the bagpipe their instrument, the Irish have made Soda Bread theirs. Not by choice, but by a state of poverty that made it the easiest bread to put on the table.
3.5 Cups flour
3/4 Cups sugar
1/2 Cups butter
3/4 Cups whole milk
6 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 Cup golden raisins
1 up dark raaisins
1. Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter.
2. Add raisins to the dry ingredients. Make a well in center of dry ingredients. Add slightly beaten eggs and milk into well. Mix well and form into 2 round loaves. If dough is too sticky add a little more flour so dough can be formed into loaves about 2.5″ thick.
3. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
4. Wrap in a damp cloth to cool.