An Old Family Recipe for Irish Soda Bread

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I love to cook. My inspiration comes from fond memories of cooking with my two grandmothers in their respective kitchens. They taught me to cook from scratch and find joy in family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.

St. Patrick's Day is a favorite of mine, since it's my mother’s birthday and reminds me of my Irish heritage, too. This year, my daughter and I went to my grandmother's house to learn the family soda bread recipe, which came from County Cork in Ireland by way of my great-grandfather’s cousin. I learned that soda bread is simple to make--it doesn’t require a rising or even much kneading—and the ingredients are easy to find. In the great tradition of Irish families giving their family soda bread a unique "twist," I like to substitute coconut oil instead of shortening and whole wheat flour for all purpose flour. I also add Flaxseed Meal for a nutritional boost. Soda bread pairs nicely with any savory dish and the leftovers taste great toasted with jam for breakfast. 

Enjoy celebrating St. Patrick's Day with The May Family Soda Bread Recipe.

Minutes to Prepare: 30
Minutes to Cook: 45
Number of Servings: 14

Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 14
Calories: 187.0
Total Fat: 2.6 g
Cholesterol: 2.8 mg
Sodium: 279.8 mg
Total Carbs: 35.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 5.3 g


4 cups all-purpose white flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons shortening
2 1/2 cups of lowfat buttermilk
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. 

Add shortening and mix together with your hands until shortening is combined with dry mixture.  Add raisins (optional). Add buttermilk a little at a time and continue to combine with your hands. Reserve 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. Combine and lightly knead the dough for a couple of minutes.

Form the dough into a dome shape and make an "X" with a knife on top of the loaf. Brush with buttermilk. Put bread into prepared pan. 

Bake for 45 minutes on 350°F.  Check bread by inserting a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean it is done, if not continue to bake, checking every 5 minutes. Cover the bread with tin foil to ensure the top doesn’t get over cooked.  

Serving Size: Makes 14 - 2 inch pieces
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What family recipes or tips do you use in your kitchen? What are you cooking for St. Patrick’s Day?