Win’s Irish Soda Bread

Growing up in New York City, we all were Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, you never even thought about it, you just were. Even my Romanian Jewish father made corned beef and cabbage every year.

My annual tradition includes my former mother-in-law’s Irish soda bread. I adored Win and am glad she is still part of my life each year as I bake her bread. Food joins people together.

irish soda bread7

There was one problem this year, I could not find the recipe. I had reorganized my recipes and somehow it had disappeared.  Luckily, Arielle (my oldest) was home, and had a copy of her grandmother’s recipe. The baking was on! While I worked on dinner, Arielle made the bread, so any hand you see is hers. The recipe is for 1 loaf; We wanted 2 loaves, one with and one without caraway seeds, so we doubled the recipe.

Win’s Irish Soda Bread

from Winifred Farrell

2 cups flour

level 1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp caraway seeds

1/2 cups raisins

1 1/2 Tbsp shortening (you can use butter)

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg (from Farmer Kim)


Preheat the oven to 325 – 350F.

Mix dry ingredients together, add caraway seeds.

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Rub in the shortening (we cut it in with a pastry knife).

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Beat the egg in the buttermilk.

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Fold in the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients lightly until flour is wet.

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Pour onto a floured board and knead into round shape.

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Place on a cookie sheet.

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Bake for 45 – 60 minutes. Test to see if dry in the center with a toothpick.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Irene Saiger says:

    I grew up in NYC as well and although my parents never made soda bread, I always loved how much we all enjoyed the parades, no matter what your ethnicity was.


    1. It was like a NY holiday. I was so surprised when I moved to Boston and THEY claimed it!


Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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