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Luck of the Irish Soda Bread

Mar 17, 2022

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Are you celebrating the wearing of the green today? While Hubs and I aren’t really the green beer type, this day for the luck of the Irish is probably one of our favorites. Why? Of course, it’s the food.

Ten days ago, I brought a mix of fragrant spices and salts to a boil and added ice water to create a brine bath for a big chunk of trimmed brisket. After soaking for several days, that brined beef is slowly simmered with onions, carrots and celery until fork tender. Homemade corned beef really is so very delicious and something that we look forward to every March … especially the leftovers for Reuben sandwiches.

On the side with that corned beef, we always have buttered and steamed cabbage (much better than boiled, in my opinion), my version of Colcannon made with garlicky mashed potatoes and whipped with wilted spinach instead of cabbage or kale, and usually a mustardy cream gravy to top it all. Often, I also bake a moist and rich Chocolate Guinness Cake that is layered with Bailey’s Buttercream to end the meal. Our St. Patrick’s Day feast is a rival to all food holidays.

Back before I really began exploring cooking from scratch, I would have pulled the box of baking mix from the pantry to stir up a pan of Quick Irish Soda Bread. These days, it only takes a couple extra steps to create an equally simple loaf from scratch that has a tender crumb and golden-brown crust. Slices of this warm soda bread beg to be slathered with salted butter and served alongside everything from our favorite corned beef dinner to rich Irish lamb stews and even as a sub for biscuits with our favorite sausage gravy.

May your day be touched by Irish luck and a lot of good food.


Enjoy Irish Soda Bread topped with salted butter or alongside your traditional corned beef and cabbage St. Patrick's Day dinner.

Cast Iron Irish Soda Bread

(adapted from Cooking Channel)


4 cups flour, plus more for dusting

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 cup currants

1 egg

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter a 10-inch cast iron pan, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and currants. In a large mixing cup, beat together egg, buttermilk and melted butter.

Gradually add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients while stirring with a rubber spatula. Stir just until ingredients begin to come together into a shaggy dough. Lightly dust countertop with additional flour and turn dough out onto surface. Gently knead the dough a few seconds to pull together into a 6–8-inch round (dough will still be somewhat sticky, do not overwork). Place dough round into the prepared cast iron pan. With a sharp knife, carve an “X” into the dough ball.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and center is baked through (test with a skewer). Serve warm with salted butter.


Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their three dogs ranch near Colome.


10:44 am - Thu, March 24 2022
Roger O'Blimey McHoltzmann said:
Reading all of Ms. Hill's wonderful food stories moves me to wonder: how does one get invited to a meal at her house?
08:42 am - Tue, April 26 2022
Any time you are in the area, Roger, just let me know!

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