Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
Irish soda bread is a traditional Irish culinary delight that has been enjoyed for centuries. This quick bread is characterized by its unique texture, hearty flavor, and distinctive cross-shaped scoring on the top. While many Irish households have their own variations of the recipe, the origins of soda bread can be traced back to the 19th century when baking soda became widely available in Ireland. Over the years, Irish soda bread has become an integral part of Irish culture, serving as a staple during festive occasions like St. Patrick’s Day and family gatherings. Its rich history and simple yet delicious taste have made it a beloved treat both in Ireland and around the world. In this article, we will explore the fascinating history of Irish soda bread, the ingredients that make it special, and how it has evolved over time.
Soda Bread or Railway Cake?
Another point of interest is that if your soda bread contains raisins, it’s not traditional Irish soda bread. Rather, it’s called “Spotted Dog” or “Railway Cake”.
Soda bread and “Spotted dog”, also known as “Railway cake”, are both traditional Irish baked goods, but they have distinct differences. Irish Soda bread is a simple, quick bread made with just a few basic ingredients like flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and salt. It has a dense texture and is typically round with a cross cut on top to help it bake evenly. On the other hand, spotted dog or railway cake is a richer and sweeter version of soda bread, as it includes added ingredients like currants or raisins, sugar, and butter. It is often shaped into a loaf and has a softer, more cake-like consistency. While Irish soda bread is commonly served with savory dishes, spotted dog or railway cake is often enjoyed as a sweet treat, either on its own or with a spread of butter.
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 Irish Soda Bread is for you.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!