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St. Patrick’s Day

This St. Patrick’s Day, I’m venturing out of my comfort zone and making Irish soda bread. I’ve never made any sort of bread before, but figured St. Patty’s Day was the perfect time to try!

I’m partly Irish and a ton of other things all mixed together. I know a little bit about my family’s ancestry, but not a whole lot. So, in hopes of getting a tiny taste of my Irish heritage, Irish soda bread it is. I suppose the typical thing to make on St. Patrick’s Day would be corned beef and cabbage, but I’m not about to change my ways that drastically. Until Lightlife comes out with a corned ‘beef’ alternative, Irish soda bread will have to do.

Compliments of Epicurious.com: Irish Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway


  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups raisins
  • 3 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg


Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter heavy ovenproof 10- to 12-inch-diameter skillet with 2- to 2 1/2-inch-high sides. Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add butter; using fingertips, rub in until coarse crumbs form. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Whisk buttermilk and egg in medium bowl to blend. Add to dough; using wooden spoon, stir just until well incorporated (dough will be very sticky).

Transfer dough to prepared skillet; smooth top, mounding slightly in center. Using small sharp knife dipped into flour, cut 1-inch-deep X in top center of dough. Bake until bread is cooked through and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool bread in skillet 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in foil; store at room temperature.)

Ingredients prepped & ready to go...

They weren't kidding about the sticky dough... me getting frustrated 😛


After it cooled, I sent a picture to my mom since she is quite the bread baker herself. She laughed and informed me that traditional Irish Soda bread is not square, but more of a free form. Whooops… I was wondering what they had meant by cooking it on a skillet. Here I was thinking I was being smart and avoiding a disaster of over flowing dough in my oven by containing the beast. I’d say it was a success regardless!

What are you making this St. Patrick’s Day? Share your meat-free ideas with me on Facebook!


Lightlife Team Member

About Blogitarian

Lightlife's resident blogger and veggie enthusiast, Rachael, gives you an insight into the vegetarian world as well as a peek at what’s new in Turners Falls.


2 thoughts on “St. Patrick’s Day

  1. If your dough is the right consistency it shouldn’t over-flow in the oven, a sign of an authentic sodabread baker is that they know how to do that! But, you can make a veganized version of it just like any other bread by replacing the butter with margarine, buttermilk with soy or non-dairy milk and the egg with tofu or soy yogurt. With practice you can get the dough to be just like the real thing, I’m sure. The one quality that makes sodabread real is the baking soda, happily a vegan item!

    As far as corned beef and cabbage, there are lots of Irish dishes that can be veganized. I took vegetarian sausage, cut it into chunks and added it to a potato-carrot-onion-green bean mix and sauteed it. Made a great dish that resembles Irish fare. And, you can always try Colcannon, Irish mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage. Just make the potatoes with margarine.

    You didn’t know this? There is nothing on Earth that can’t be veganized with a little ingenuity. I’m convinced of it.

    Posted by Elizabeth | March 18, 2012, 7:33 am

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