Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

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Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Although the Irish didn’t invent soda bread, it is most often identified with them. The soft wheat is the only suitable flour that can grow in Ireland’s climate, and when mixed like a traditional dough it doesn’t form any gluten like a traditional yeast bread.  However, it does work well with a soda bread recipe. The idea of using soda to leaven bread probably originated with the Native Americans centuries ago, where they used pearl-ash or potash (a natural soda in wood ashes) in their breads to make them rise.

Another point of interest is that if your soda bread contains raisins, it’s not traditional soda bread.  Rather, it’s called “Spotted Dog” or “Railway Cake”.  If it contains raisins, eggs, baking powder, sugar, or shortening, it’s called “cake”, not “bread.”  So, in reality what we have here should be called Irish Spotted Dog Cake or just Railway Cake.

This bread has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that is delicious with a little butter.  If you’re looking for something easy and tasty for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration this Soda Bread is for you.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
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Ingredients
  • 4 cups soft white wheat flour (hard white and hard red wheat flour work well too)*
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup raisins*
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries*
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
 
Instructions
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cake pan.
 
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry cutter until well combined. Stir in raisins and dried cranberries.
 
In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs together. Pour over flour mixture and stir to combine. This will make a very thick batter. Spoon into cake pan.
 
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Cut into wedges.
 

*These ingredients can be found in our store.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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