St. Patrick’s Day Tradition – Irish Soda Bread

March 15, 2011

For as long as I can remember the middle of March has involved Irish Soda Bread. I remember watching mom work with the tough dough, and the enormous cast iron skillet that was as essential as caraway seeds. It was a given that I would carry this tradition on when I started experimenting in the kitchen.

Over the years since I first made this on, I have tweaked my mother’s (grandmother’s) recipe made it my own. Both of my parents are Irish-Italian Americans, so both of my grandmothers have soda bread recipes they swear by. Their recipes are very great, but by combining them and adding in my nutrition background the resulting recipe is to die for.

Really, you must try it! It’s easy and the pay back is huge. If you still haven’t made this, don’t wait until next year. Make it this weekend to have as breakfast for the week. It’s delicious with a bit of butter and jam… Or plain, hot from the oven (Carver’s favorite way to eat it).

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St. Patrick’s Day Tradition

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  • Author: Courtney Bliss MS RDN


Every March, without fail, I make this recipe. Irish Soda bread was a staple of my childhood and I love that I’ve made it a staple for my boys as well. 



1 1/3 cup whole-wheat flour

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cup bread flour

8 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons butter, cold unsalted

1 ½ cups raisins or currants

3 tablespoons caraway seeds

2 cups low-fat buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12” cast iron skillet liberally with nonstick spray
  2. In a large bowl combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Cut in 6 tablespoons butter until pea-sized and shaggy looking.
  4. Add in raisins and caraway seeds and mix until well-combined.
  5. Slowly mix in buttermilk until just combined. I add it about ½ cup at a time because sometimes it takes less/more
  6. Bake for about 50 minutes until golden brown and crisp at the edges. I rotate the pan halfway through cooking time and dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
  7. Let cool 5-10 minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack.

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