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Mom-Mom’s Irish Soda Bread

We had an old neighbor who lived across the street from us when I was growing up in Yeadon. She was straight off the boat from Ireland and always made the most delicious Irish soda bread (called “soda” bread because baking soda rather than yeast is used as the rising agent). My mother tried to get the exact recipe but she would only tell her to use a handful of this or a pinch of that. Finally, Mom went over one day, watched her make it and tried to measure out the exact ingredients. She then came home and kept making it until it turned out perfectly like our neighbor’s. In Ireland the bread is baked in iron skillet, and this was the best way to make it authentically. I only make it that way, but do have friends who have made it in a loaf pan with good results. It is particularly wonderful right out of the oven when it is warm and toasty.

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4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
2-3 TBSP caraway seed, if desired


1. Sift flour, salt & baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar and raisins. Put the 2 beaten eggs into a measuring cup, add buttermilk and combine to make one cup. Add to dry ingredients, then add 1 cup more of buttermilk. Add caraway seed if desired. Mix well until all the flour is wet.

2. Bake at 375 for 45 min. in an 8” iron skillet.

by: Louise DeCecco
Louise is the billing coordinator at the Philadelphia Catering Company. She is also "Mom-Mom" to 20 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. During the month of March she often treats the family with this delicious homemade bread to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
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