Irish Soda Bread

The 1/8 of me that is Irish loves St. Patrick’s Day. Our family gathers together for a huge feast of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and Irish soda bread. As a child, my grandma’s special Irish soda bread was what I looked forward to all day. The recipe she has passed down is truly amazing! It is super dense, moist, slightly sweet, and full of raisins. Unfortunately, it is also made with bleached, all purpose flour and contains more butter and sugar than I prefer to feed my own little family. I became determined to come up with a whole grain alternative that doesn’t compromise the “comfort” factor. After a few questionable attempts (and a few questionable looks from my mother), I finally achieved perfection! My new “family recipe” rocks and no one would ever guess how good it is for you (until you brag about it!). The flour is 100% white whole wheat, and I even managed to get a scoop of oat bran into it. I cut down on the butter and scaled back the sugar by relying on the sweetness of plump, juicy raisins. The buttermilk keeps it moist and completely authentic. This bread will take your St. Paddy’s Day dinner to the next level, and the leftovers make a great high-energy, sustainable breakfast to help power you through the next day. This is also a great recipe to involve your toddler or preschooler in. The entire process takes less than 10 minutes, and because it is egg free you can let them lick the bowl worry free!
100% white whole wheat flour, 2 1/2 cups
(I prefer King Arthur’s organic brand)
Oat bran, 1/2 cup
Butter, 6 tbsp at room temperature
Organic sugar, 1/3 cup
Buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups
Baking soda, 1 tsp
Baking powder, 1/2 tsp
Sea salt, 1/2 tsp
Cream of tarter, 1/4 tsp
Organic raisins, 1 1/2 cups

Prep: Bring butter to room temperature. Combine dry ingredients (minus raisins) in a large mixing bowl. Lightly butter a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and one 9 x 5 inch piece of wax paper. Place wax paper on bottom of loaf pan. Gather equipment and prepared, measured ingredients.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together 6 tbsp butter and 1/3 cup sugar. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients plus 1/2 cup buttermilk. Blend over medium low to medium speed just until combined. Repeat twice. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir in 1 1/2 cups raisins. Transfer to buttered loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Use a bread knife to loosen sides of bread and immediately transfer to cooling rack. Wrap in foil when cool. For best results, serve toasted with a pat of butter and enjoy!

Note: I should mention that this bread freezes amazingly! I like to make a double batch and keep the other one on hand for a last minute hostess gift or to put out for an impromptu playdate. What is better than healthy, tasty, made from scratch bread?

Please email for a printable and more detailed recipe. Also, please email me if you are unable to leave a comment. I have had multiple complaints that my comment section is not working properly and want to see if it is a trend. Hope everyone has a happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

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