Irish Soda Bread Recipe

My Grandma Price passed along her Irish Soda Bread recipe to me via my mom, but I thought it was lost in the mists of time. Monday I found recipe #1 below and made it — to die for! Then today I found Grandma Price’s recipe (#2). [3/17/11 #3, #4, and #5 were contributed by my mom, my sister, and my aunt.]
1. Irish Pan Bread
(Makes 1 large round loaf in a 12″ cast iron skillet)
5 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (sifting?? I think not)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) cold butter
2-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2-1/2 cups seedless raisins
3 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 12-inch cast-iron skillet.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (This feels very Martha Stewart to me. I don’t own a pastry blender… but I know what they’re going for: crumb-y, not paste-y)
  3. Add 2-1/2 cups buttermilk and egg to crumb mixture. Lightly stir in raisins and caraway seeds, blending only until moistened. Turn batter into prepared skillet.
  4. Bake at for 1 hour or until tested done and browned. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and drizzle with 1 tablespoon buttermilk to form a crust as bread cools (this is awesome). Cool on wire rack.

2. Bridget Price’s Classic Soda Bread
(makes a loaf about 1/2 the size of above)

2-1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 level Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 heaping Tablespoon caraway seeds
3 oz raisins (abt. 1/3 of a 9 0z box)
1 lg. egg (or 2 small)
1 c. buttermilk

  1. Preheat oven to 350; grease a loaf pan or shallow baking dish (for round loaf)
  2. Mix dry ingredients. Create a “well” in the middle.
  3. Lightly mix egg and buttermilk.
  4. Pour liquid into your “well.”
  5. Mix with fork, then stick your hands in and knead, just until it’s all blended. Dough will be very sticky.
  6. Bake 45 min or so, till crust is brown and it feels hollow when tapped.
  7. Remove load from baking dish and cool on a rack.

I don’t think Grandma actually used a recipe, but apparently someone made her write it down.

Note: As you might be able to tell, #1 is more sweet and buttery. I’m loving it for breakfast with our homemade clementine marmalade (we’re cocooning this week). Grandma’s (#2) you might actually eat with a bowl of soup or stew — less sweet, heavier. More family versions below

3. Kathleen Price’s Version

3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups golden raisins
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 lg. eggs, beaten
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease & flour a 9-in round cake pan
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, buttermilk and butter. Mix well.
  4. Tranfer to prepared pan. Bake about 1 hour until top is golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

4. Kathy Price McDermott’s Version

4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 c. sweet butter or shortening
1 c. plumped raisins (hydrate in cup of hot water for a few minutes to “plump” them)
1 t. carraway seeds
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs (beaten)
————————————————————————–

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, mix: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and butter/shortening until crumbly and butter mixed in.
  3. Transfer to large mixing blow and incorporate raisins and seeds. Stir in eggs and buttermilk.
  4. Transfer to greased springform pan (dough will be “pretty wet”) in a lump. Brush dough with an eggwash (mixed egg and water).
  5. Bake for one hour at 375 degrees.

 

5. Mary Ellen Price Groark’s Version

My recipe:

  1. Sift together 3 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt.
  2. Stir in 1 or 2 tbls. caraway seed and 1 cup raisins to flour mixture.
  3. Mix together 2 eggs (beaten), 3 Tbls. melted shortening, 3 tbls. sugar and 1 cup buttermilk.
  4. Make well in center of flour mixure and add liquid ingredients. Mix well.
  5. Gather dough from bowl (dust you hands with flour) and turn onto floured surface.
  6. Knead about 10-15 tmes (until the dough stays together).
  7. Place into greased round bowl (I have the bowl that my Mom’s used for her bread) and cut an X in the dough.
  8. Bake at 350 deg. for approx. 50-60 minutes.

Maybe the secret to my delicious bread is in the bowl.

 

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17 Responses to Irish Soda Bread Recipe

  1. Margie Price says:

    Anne made Grandma Price’s bread and butter pickles for her siblings for Christmas!

  2. Actually, I made the bread and butter pickles…thanks Susan for the recipe…pretty sure I have it with my recipes but will check to make sure!

  3. I made soda bread this Christmas; I used a recipe I got a while ago from the Internet and added caraway seeds to it. It turns out pretty well. It’s nice to have a family recipe, though.

  4. Anne says:

    Sorry I didn’t get around to the bread and butter pickles this summer. By the time I received Grandma Price’s recipe my cucumbers were long gone. Denise is ready to help me plant lots of cucumber seeds in the spring so this year I’ll be ready! The Irish soda bread sounds yummy. I will have to try it. Thanks, Susan, for recipe #1 and #2.

  5. Margie Price says:

    Ooops! Sorry! I knew it was you Sharon!i do know the difference between you and Anne!

  6. @Tracy, caraway seeds do seem to be the ingredient that carries all the nostalgic “sense memory.” All the rest is a matter of how heavy you want your brick to be.

  7. My mom said her effort at G’ma’s soda bread was “inedible.” I made it today and tweaked the wording of the recipe to be more in keeping with quickbread orthodoxy (expert that I am :P) without changing any ingredient proportions. My bread came out fine edibility-wise…. though…. I forgot to add the salt….. so the flavor is a little flat.

  8. Margie Price says:

    Susan, I tried it once. I think I had the same recipe your mother had

  9. LOL @Margie, you can always get a box of raisin bread mix and throw in some caraway seeds. 🙂

  10. I have to make two giant loaves every year for Tom’s office…plus a stick or tub of sweet butter.

  11. @Kath, so do you have a tried-&-true recipe you can share? I posted Mom’s “alternate version” as #3 on the link above. If I could remember how to do algebra, I’d analyze the difference between recipe success & failure… maybe+ sugar, a scosh of butter and lots more baking soda.

  12. I do. I will dig it out and post it.

  13. I always leave OUT the caraway seeds…mom taught me that 🙂

  14. Margie Price says:

    I love caraway seeds! I can hardly wait til you post the recipe. I would like to try again

  15. Mary Ellen Groark says:

    I just made Irish soda bread for Mary Ann Price’s 80th birthday (Jan. 4). And, of course, I have to use up the qt. of buttermilk, so I have made another three loaves this month. I love it in the afternoon with my tea (which by the way came from The Dublin Tea Co. Ltd–best I have ever tasted)!

    My recipe: Sift together 3 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt. Stir in 1 or 2 tbls. caraway seed and 1 cup raisins to flour mixture. Mix together 2 eggs (beaten), 3 Tbls. melted shortening, and 1 cup buttermilk. Make well in center of flour mixure and add liquid ingredients. Mix well. Gather dough from bowl (dust you hands with flour) and turn onto floured surface. Knead about 10-15 tmes (until the dough stays together). Place into greased round bowl (I have the bowl that my Mom’s used for her bread) and cut an X in the dough. Bake at 350 deg. for approx. 50-60 minutes. Maybe the secret to my delicious bread is in the bowl.

  16. Mary Ellen Groark says:

    I forage one ingredient: 3 tbls. sugar.

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