Sunday, March 6, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

We've freshened up the site a bit! A new masthead above, and to your right you'll now find a column to hold a curated selection of seasonal and holiday ideas. This way, many of the most relevant posts are right up front!

Now, on to the soda bread. A recipe and chocolatey bonus after the jump!


4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 stick butter, diced

1 cup raisins
1-2 tblsp caraway seeds

1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

I used soy milk and apple cider vinegar instead of buttermilk. In a one-cup measure add 1 tbsp of vinegar and then soymilk to fill. Let sit for a few minutes, then use. You may use a little more or a little less of the buttermilk mixture depending on how your dough turns out.

I also subbed 1 cup of flour for 1 cup whole wheat flour.

Next time I might do 2 tbsp of caraway seeds, it's a little on the light side with one and I like them a lot. The photos above use 2, the photos below use 1.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda in a large bowl. Cut in butter. Once the butter is incorporated, add the raisins and caraway seeds. Create a well in the middle of the bowl and add buttermilk and eggs. Use a fork or your hands to combine, it should be biscuit dough like. Once it's sticking together, turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead a few times to get it into a soft ball but do not over kneed. Let sit for a few minutes and then cut a cross in the dough from end to end. You'll want to cut about 2/3s of the way through. Brush the top with a bit of buttermilk.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 45-60 minutes. It's done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool and enjoy warm with butter.


Turn it chocolate. Duh.

I've always got a hankering for chocolate but I'm at least smart enough to know that full sized chocolate cakes and things are not a good idea for me - one who lives alone. I've perfected the half chocolate cake batter and make it in two medium ramekins often. They sort of come out to be large cupcakes, but just the amount of chocolate I'm craving. With soda bread being so easy and all, and having had When Pigs Fly chocolate loaf, I wondered if there could be a chocolate soda loaf. Turns out there totally can be, and is. I went through a few recipes and then adapted one to the half-sized recipe above.


2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 tblsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 stick butter, diced
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten


If you're doing the vinegar and milk combo, go ahead and do it for a cup, you may or may not use all of it for the dough but you'll brush the loaf with the extra before baking.
add sugar in the raw to the top before you bake.

Just like above, mix your dry ingredients and then cut in the butter. Add chocolate chips and create a well in the middle. Next add egg and then buttermilk until the dough comes together. The rest is exactly like the above directions.

Chocolate soda bread. Add ice cream to. Add peanut butter to. Oh, my.

Here are today's loaves: (the top most photos are from a previous batch)


  1. um, you may possibly be a genuis for the chocolatey bonus. totally making this! and the new masthead looks lovely.


    Irish soda bread is my very favourite. I am going to have to try this chocolate version!

  3. I love Irish soda bread. PLUS, chocolate?! Heck yeah!