Appalachia Appalachian Food

Irish Soda Bread

Chatter wants to be a cooker

When Chatter was a little girl she used to tell me she wanted to be a cooker so she could make people happy. Even at that young age she had figured out people with full bellies are generally happy.

In the photo above Chatter was helping me make cookies. Or rather by the looks of it, she was making a huge mess while I made cookies.

While Chitter never cared much for cooking or helping in the kitchen, Chatter’s love for being a cooker has endured through the years. Last weekend she borrowed a cookbook from a friend and made us a loaf of Irish Soda Bread.

Irish soda bread from appalachia

Taste of Home – Irish Soda Bread

  • 2 cups plain flour (all-purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup raisins (we didn’t have any raisins so Chatter used dried cranberries)

Easy recipe for saint patricks day

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until its like coarse crumbs.

Mix beaten egg and buttermilk together; stir into flour mixture; stir in raisins.

Best irish soda bread recipe

Knead dough for about a minute-you may need to add some additional flour to get it to come together.

Shape dough into a round loaf and place on a greased cookie sheet.

Cut a 1/4 inch deep cross in top of loaf. Beat remaining egg and brush over loaf.

Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Seems like Chatter’s loaf took quite a bit longer than 35 minutes.

Chatters irish soda bread

Slice and enjoy! A very tasty bread. I think The Deer Hunter and I both enjoyed it more than Chatter. It’s not very sweet even with the sugar and raisins/cranberries-but perfect with a smear of cream cheese and a hot cup of coffee.


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  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    September 23, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    My friend makes it with whole wheat flour, honey and chopped pecans (less amount than a nut bread). A bit different but still delicious — with butter, of course.

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    September 14, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    What a wonderful treat for a weekend breakfast.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 14, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    and Quinn…Well now, I believe that is a simple recipe. When you went to describing how you make it the memories came flowing back. That is the way my Dad made bread. I could never make it like he did. He said I put too much effort into it, too much kneading, etc. Mine always was a heavy lump after it baked. His was always light as a feather!
    I will be following your recipe and reread it and try not to overdo it all. My Dad hated, and I mean hated buttermilk…but he dumped a “glug” of apple cider vinegar in the milk to sour it, just like you say! I never understood his dislike for buttermilk growing up in Appalachia, but he passed it down to me and I won’t drink it either!
    What a wonderful day of recipes…here we have three different ones to give a try and taste…
    Great work Tipper, you will have us all baking for a week!
    Thanks all,

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Chatter’s recipe is going straight into our Blind Pig recipe folder! we have been looking for a good Irish soda bread recipe.thanks for sharing.We had Miss Cindy’s bread today with supper. It’s another keeper!

  • Reply
    Evelyn Richardson
    September 14, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    The Irish Soda Bread sounds delicious! I must make some soon!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Irish Soda Bread is one of my very favorite breads. When the local supermarket bakery makes it, I buy two or three loaves; I freeze them for a long number of weeks for my daily to weekly treats. Sometimes the bread is made with dried fruit. I like this recipe; looks to be simple. Chatter – keep up the good work.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Crikey, Tipper, I hope you don’t mind – looks like I put a whole nother blog post in your comments!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Here you go, b.Ruth! Just as I wrote it in 2010. Seems long but only because I’m wordy – the recipe is simple 😉
    Soda Bread
    3 1/2 – 4 cups flour (I use a mixture of whatever white flour I have on hand and up to half whole wheat flour)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    8-10 oz. milk, with a glug of cider vinegar mixed in to sour it
    Preheat oven to 425F and let the milk sour.
    Scatter a little flour on countertop and also on the lid of cast iron skillet (or whatever flat pan you’ll be baking on).
    In large bowl, blend dry ingredients thoroughly, then make a well in the middle and add most of milk, reserving a bit in case the dough is too wet to handle or too dry to stick together.
    Mix together with a strong spoon, quickly but not too vigorously, then pull the somewhat sticky pieces into a ball and dump onto countertop. Smoosh dough a bit to be sure it’s consistent in texture, but only for a minute or so – don’t knead like you would with a yeast dough.
    Shape into a round loaf. Use a sharp knife to slash a deep X across the whole top, going at last an inch or more deep. Place on floured pot lid and bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then reduce to 400F for about 30 minutes. If not sure about doneness, carefully lift hot loaf out of oven and tap bottom: hollow sound = done.
    Wrap loaf in clean towel and let cool as long as you can stand it, then cut a couple of whacking great slabs off one edge and lay on the butter!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 14, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    and Sheryl Paul…you are so “right on” about the excess sugar used in our country. Another thing, we bake with too much refined white flour instead of whole grains…No wonder some of us balloon out quicker than others…
    Quinn…could you share your recipe for the bread you described…I really think my “butter addiction” requires a “warm handle”…Loved the correlation!
    Thanks Tipper for letting me borrow your commenters…

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 14, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    That’s all well and good, but can she make a biscuit?

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    September 14, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Try this BEST EVER recipe from the cookbook THE COMMONSENSE KITCHEN. It is delicious warm, and
    the next day makes the best toast!
    Joan’s Irish Soda Bread
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    2/3 cup sugar
    1 tsp. baking soda
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. salt
    2 cups buttermilk
    2 eggs
    2 Tbsp. caraway seeds (traditional, but I don’t use)
    2 Tbsp. canola or other vegetable oil
    1-1/2 cup raisins
    Whisk (or sift) dry ingredients together in big bowl.
    Whisk buttermilk, eggs, oil, and seeds in small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry; sprinkle raisins on top. Mix ONLY until uniform — do not overmix. Put in 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min. or till toothpick comes out clean. Let rest 10 min. before turning out onto a rack to cool.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I remember those cute times when
    my girls were little too. Precious memories!
    The only kind of bread I ever make is Cornbread. And I don’t have the patience for biscuits, I buy them already made.
    No wonder Chatter plays the guitar so well, just look at them long fingers. I’ll bet her
    Soda Bread is good…Ken

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    September 14, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Looks delicious–you could put a glaze on it if you wanted it sweeter. I’m going to try it with some of my dried cherries.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 9:36 am

    There was quite a long period of time when I made soda bread about twice weekly, baking it on the lid of my cast iron skillet. Got to where I could go from zero to a loaf of bread in just over an hour, and that included baking it for 45 or 50 minutes. I don’t remember my recipe having as many ingredients as yours, but it sure was good warm – especially a thick slice with a layer of butter melting into it. Or later, heated up in the toaster oven and then slathered with butter.
    Hmm. Sounds like I was making soda bread just to have a handle for butter, doesn’t it? 😉

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 14, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Cooking is perhaps the single best way to show love, a love language of its own. It has so many things that recommend it. It is everyday yet can be made special by customization, even to a particular individual. The time and the effort says, ‘I want to do something for you.’ It doesn’t have to be expensive. And it usually involves a fellowship around the table.
    I had never thought of it before, but some of the description of charity in 1 Corinthians 13 actually fits cooking.
    And I would tell Chatter what I have told others. Careers can come and go but people always have to eat. I expect you figured that out long ago though.

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuugs
    September 14, 2015 at 8:21 am

    This cool snap put me in a bread-baking mood and this post adds further encouragement!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 14, 2015 at 7:48 am

    I used to bake quite a bit. Not anymore. It’s not due to health problems, etc. Though we did enjoy eating what I baked so it wouldn’t go to waste. However, it went to “waist” anyway! ha
    Through the years, I just seem to have lost my “round-to-it”! Especially when it comes to baking breads, specialty rolls, some of those long ingredient cakes, etc.
    I just like the simple recipes nowadays. Those recipes that you are more apt to have most of the ingredients at home. I save the other baked goods for holidays!
    This sounds like a good Irish Soda bread recipe. I haven’t made any in years.
    You see, all those times you spent playing in the flour with Chatter is paying off today. Tasty bread without you having to bake.
    Good job Tipper!
    I’ve got the coffee in front of me, but no breakfast bread!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 14, 2015 at 7:43 am

    That looks wonderful. I have to admit, my attempts at making Irish Soda Bread have not turned out this good. The were always on the hard side so I quit trying.
    It’s hard to reconcile that little girl in the picture with the beautiful young woman I saw just yesterday!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    September 14, 2015 at 7:38 am

    The Irish Soda Bread sounds wonderful, and I can imagine tasted even better with the dried cranberries than with the raisins! I like breads like this with my morning coffee. I plan to soon try Chatter’s “found” Irish Soda Bread recipe! My daughter was a little “cooker”, too, and ended up majoring in dietetics/nutrition and being a wonderful cook, as well as following a career that includes dietetics.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 14, 2015 at 7:27 am

    It looks good, I like the Irish Soda Beard and also Scones. I think because until they were also made in the US there was very little sugar. I have noticed most modern recipes call for lots of it.

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