Irish soda bread is a favorite recipe in my family. While my family is from Galway Ireland, this recipe originally came from St Patrick’s church in Erie, PA. This recipe is quick & easy to make, and the bread is super moist. We make it year-round & it’s perfect to take as a hostess or thank you gift. There is a trend for foods to look “rustic” and adding a beautiful pie plate to serve it in makes an extra special gift.
While you can make this recipe in two loaf pans, my mom got frustrated one night while she was making it and just couldn’t shape the loafs just right. Since the dough was already made, she grabbed two pie plates, greased them, divided the dough between the two pie places & heaped them up into a mound. She watched them carefully so they wouldn’t burn. Lo and behold, they turned out so beautifully we have been doing it that way ever since!
To keep the bread fresh, we keep the bread in the pie plate for serving & wrap it with a cotton tea towel. It saves money & is better for the environment. The bread is super-moist and tastes great plain or with a bit of Irish butter. We prefer the Irish butter because it has a richer flavor & is all natural and hormone-free with no coloring added. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
Irish Soda Bread
5 cup sifted all-purpose unbleached flour
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ lb butter (1 stick butter)
1 ¼ cup light & dark raisins, soaked 15 min & drained
3 tbsp caraway seeds
2 ½ cup buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter two pie plates. Sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Cut in butter and mix very thoroughly by hand until it feels grainy. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Add buttermilk and egg to flour mixture. Stir until well moistened, shape into 2 round loaves and place in pie plates. Bake for 45 minutes. Test with toothpick for doneness.
Alternately, if you prefer a more traditional loaf, you can use two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans and bake for 1 hour. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to continue cooling.