Ah, food memories.
Thinking about them because I am finally sharing my mom’s recipe for Irish Soda Bread!
This sweet goodness starts showing up a few weeks before St. Paddy’s Day around her house. If you have been around this blog long enough, you know I grew up in a family of ten with a mom who was a great cook. I learned way more about good eating than good cooking living in her house, but as soon as I was married, those food memories followed me and through lots of phone calls and dog-earred recipe cards, I managed to get recipes for many of them. This one has been at the top of my list these last few years, and now it’s here.
When I was in college, I went abroad in London I bought Irish Soda Bread at the grocery store and it tasted like sawdust. I had no idea it could be a whole wheat loaf, so coarse and dry, since my thoughts of soda bread are light, fluffy, moist and sweet with bits of dried fruit and a sweet glaze on top. Because that’s the soda bread my mom made growing up.
I love the combination of the caraway seeds with the little bits of apricot and golden raisins she usually uses. And the buttermilk makes it taste so tender. It is wonderful toasted with a little butter for breakfast. It’s such a wonderful food memory for me now, and such a distinctive combination of flavors. (It’s hard to go wrong with flour and butter and sugar right?). I’m so glad I am going to always have it here on the blog (one of my favorite parts of food blogging – my favorite recipes are so easy to find!).
I love that this serves as such a nice gift for others too, and you can buy little paper or wooden bread pans for easy distribution.
I like to use the mini loaf sizes too, and you can usually cut the cooking time in half for the smaller loaves, just keep watching it until the edges are brown. I hope you try this, and it becomes one of your family traditions too.
Happy Eating, xoxo Katie
Mom’s Irish Soda Bread
4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 ½ teaspoons salt
1 stick of butter (room temperature)
2 cups buttermilk, divided
1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
1 cup raisins, golden raisins or other dried fruit like cranberries or apricots, diced if large
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients and butter together so it’s like a pie crust. Add raisins or dried fruit. Add caraway seeds and mix. Add eggs and 1 cup of the buttermilk and mix well. Add remaining cup of buttermilk and mix well.
Bake in 2 greased loaf pans for 50-60 minutes, until edges look browned.
While the bread bakes, mix together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough water to form a glaze.
Remove from oven and then take out of bread pans. Drizzle with glaze while bread is warm.