I really like Irish Soda Bread.  A friend of mine gave me her recipe a few years ago, and I’ve been making it since.  The thing about this recipe is, like many recipes, it’s written for smaller batches.  I have tripled it before, but this year that wasn’t going to work.  We have various Irish theme meals and catering events this week and I was going to need 54 loaves of this stuff.  What I have here are the 2 recipes.  While the first one may be a slight bit better, in my opinion, the cheat recipe works great if you run a large kitchen.

The First Recipe:

3 Cups Flour

1 T Baking Powder

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1/4 Cup Sugar

4 T Butter (Cut into pieces)

1/2 Tsp Salt

1 Egg

1 Cup Buttermilk

1 Cup Raisins

2 T Caraway Seeds

Blend the dry ingredients.  Cut in the butter into pieces using your fingers or a pastry blender.  Add the wet ingredients.  Mix.

Turn the dough out and knead 4 times.  Form a loaf and put on a baking sheat.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and then 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

The Cheat:

With the new recipe, you use Gold Medal Biscuit Mix as a starter. You don’t have to add butter, sugar or eggs.  The recipe didn’t have enough raisins or caraway for my taste, so I doubled it.  Here is that recipe with my adjustments

Gold Medal Buttermilk Biscuit Mix (1) 5 lb Box

Raisins 4 cups
Buttermilk 6 cups
All-Purpose  Flour 4 cup
Baking  Soda 2 tsp
Caraway  Seed 4 Tbsp
Flour for dusting 2 cups

Plump Raisins
Place raisins in a small sauce pan and cover them with water.
Bring them to a boil over medium heat.
Remove from heat and allow to sit for 2 minutes.
Drain raisins in colander and set aside to cool.
Pour buttermilk into mixer bowl. Add biscuit mix, 4 cups flour and soda.
Mix on low speed using a paddle attachment for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl and paddle.
Add raisins and caraway seed. Mix on low speed for 2 additional minutes.
Divide the dough into (14) 12 oz loaves.
Round the loaves on a floured surface, then place 7 loaves on each of 2 parchment-lined sheet pans.
Dust each loaf with flour.
Score an X in the top of each loaf using a sharp knife 1/2″ deep and bake.
Convection Oven*        325°F        22-26minutes
Standard Oven            350°F        26-30minutes

*Rotate pans baked in a convection oven one-half turn (180°) after 12 minutes of baking.

Irish Soda Bread Dough

Irish Soda Bread Dough

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

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Chris Spear

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