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Catholic Recipe: Irish Soda Bread


  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups seedless raisins
  • 1-1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Details

  • Yield: 1 casserole sized loaf
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin: Ireland

St. Patrick's Day usually falls during Lent, a time of fasting. In Ireland, cooks used to note the day by adding raisins or currants to Lenten bread. Before baking, the bread was marked with the sign of the cross.


Mix and sift flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter or margarine with pastry blender or two knives until it resembles coarse corn meal. Stir in raisins. Combine buttermilk, egg, and baking soda. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. Bake in greased 1-quart pudding pan or casserole at 375° for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965
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