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This Irish Soda Bread recipe comes to me from friend Molly Sinnett, who answered my Facebook plea for an authentic loaf. Something passed down from an Irish Granny would have been ideal, and she totally delivered!

This is a complete departure from the soda bread I picked up last weekend in Carroll Gardens (Caputo’s Bake Shop, those are most definitely eggs in your dough…I’ll be back for your hot cross buns though!).

I was wary of using margarine in the recipe, with its hydrogenated oil; but, I didn’t exactly want to substitute butter when her recipe specifically says “don’t use butter!” So, I went with a stick of Smart Balance and crossed my fingers.

The secret to this loaf has to be the soured buttermilk–the crumb is perfectly tender and reminds me of a colossal scone. And I absolutely love scones. So very excited for a thick slice for breakfast tomorrow with my Irish Breakfast tea. Happy St. Pat’s everyone!

Granny’s Irish Soda Bread

(Thanks Molly!)

  •  5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  •  1 rounded tsp baking soda
  •  1 rounded tsp baking powder
  •  1 cup sugar
  •  1 stick margarine, sliced into 8 Tbsps (I used Smart Balance)
  •  6-8 ounces raisins (or more if you desire)
  •  1 1/2 cups sour buttermilk (to sour add 1 tsp white vinegar and let sit at room temp 1/2 hour)
  1. Mix together first 4 ingredients. Using a pastry cutter, blend the margarine into the flour and sugar mix. Add raisins.
  2. Create a well, pour in the buttermilk and stir. Use hands to fully incorporate wet and dry ingredients.
  3. Divide dough into 2 round loaves. Set in center of cake pans that have been greased and floured.  Cut an X into the top of each loaf and bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes.