Bread...I love bread! Especially, bread with raisins. There is nothing better than a slice of raisin bread toasted with butter...or is there? YES, there is... and it's called Mom's Irish Soda Bread with Tangy Green Butter!
Mom always made Irish soda bread around Saint Patrick's Day. Note to self- ask mom why she didn't make this delicious bread all year long. We learn traditions from our family, so I usually make Irish soda bread around Saint Patrick's Day. Note to self- make this bread all year long, it's delicious and your husband loves it!
Irish soda bread uses very basic ingredients, doesn't require resting time or rising time, can be mixed by hand or wooden spoon, only has to be kneaded for a few minutes, and bakes in less than an hour...so, why don't I make this bread all the time? I honestly don't know... I should... and I will.. so should you.
There are tons of recipes out there (of course this one is the best) and you can customize the basic ingredients to suit your taste. Don't like raisins, don't use them. Don't have vanilla extract, don't add it. Don't have buttermilk, make it with milk and vinegar...it's easy, find out how by clicking here. What you don't want to skip is the Tangy Green Butter! You don't have to make it green of course, make it pink or blue or au naturel if that makes you happy...but, whatever you do, don't skip it! The rich butter paired with tangy yogurt is a game changer for me and I have mom to thank!
Mom and I were talking on the phone yesterday about my Corned Beef Cabbage Rolls and I happened to mention that I was also going to make Irish Soda Bread. She immediately offered up her recipe and proceeded to tell me about the green butter spread she made to accompany the bread she served at her garden club. WHAT??? Why didn't I think of that? No, not the garden club...although I'd love to have time to be in a garden club! Adding yogurt to butter and dye it green for Saint Patrick's Day...genius! Thanks Mom! Just goes to show that no matter how much we grow up, learn new tricks, and develop new skills... Mom is always one step ahead!
So... what makes my Mom's Irish Soda Bread so special? Sandy... plain and simple. My mom (Sandy) isn't a fancy cook or baker, but she has been making Artisan bread for as long as I can remember. She almost always has a fresh loaf of homemade bread just waiting to be sliced and devoured. My Mom's motto is, why buy it when you can make it or grow it. Mom and many in her generation had to make meals from fresh and often homegrown or inexpensive ingredients because they were poor... not because it was trendy. The buzz word "clean eating" always makes me laugh because mom and many others in her generation were eating "clean" out of necessity, not popularity. They probably would have loved to eat McDonald's and have Twinkies for dessert, but that just wasn't in the budget. I don't think I even tasted a Twinkie until I was an adult and I'm proud to say, one was enough... Gross! Now, Little Debbie Nutty Bars...that's a whole different story!
I grew up in a household where dinner was always made at home... except for those VERY special occasions where we would go out to eat at a restaurant. This may have happened 2-3 times in a year! It's funny that, as an adult who enjoys cooking and developing recipes; I choose to go out to eat with my husband several times a month and almost every time we both leave the restaurant saying, "we should have stayed home and cooked." Simply put, you can't beat homemade food because it's made with love for the people you are cooking for. Mom's Irish Soda Bread with Tangy Green Butter is a perfect example!
Mom has tweaked this recipe over the years, it's filled with love and now she's sharing it with us. I refuse to change one thing about the recipe and it will be posted as she wrote it...but, if you add about ½ tsp of salt to the mix, you probably won't regret it! Sorry, Mom... I had to. It needs a wee bit of salt. Other than that minute detail, this recipe for Mom's Irish Soda Bread with Tangy Green Butter is knock your green socks off good! You are wearing green socks, aren't you?
What you'll need for Mom's Irish Soda Bread with Tangy Green Butter:
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Caraway Seeds
- Brown Sugar
- Ground Cinnamon
- Salt... you won't find it in the recipe, but add it anyway (just a wee bit)
- Vanilla Extract
- Raisins (mom uses golden)
- Vanilla Yogurt
- Green (or pink or blue or none) food coloring
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, cinnamon, caraway seeds...and a wee bit of salt (½ tsp) that doesn't exist in the recipe. Sorry Mom, I had to.
*for some reason, I did not take any pictures of the dry ingredients...I really thought I did. Weird, very weird. Oh well...no big deal. After all, it's just a bowl of white and brown ingredients...I still feel bad. I promise to snap a picture next time I make Irish Soda Bread and I won't be waiting until next year, that's for sure!
Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in a medium size mixing bowl. Add raisins and allow to soak for 15- 30 minutes. You might wonder why we didn't do step two first since it takes 15-30 minutes to soak the raisins and preheat the oven. I'm one step ahead of you...this is the time you say, "I guess I should pour a Guinness while I'm waiting." See...I'm on your side...don't forget to add salt to those dry ingredients. They will thank you. And you will thank me. Sorry Mom.
Sláinte and be merry like a leprechaun filling his pockets with gold!
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula or your hands...it doesn't matter, just get to mixing. The dough will be very sticky, don't worry. You added that wee bit of salt, right? If not, its not to late. Add a pinch or two now.
Add about ½-¾ cups of flour to a large cutting board or a clean counter and turn the dough out onto the surface (that means, dump the sticky dough out of the bowl right on the floured surface) and knead the dough (it's not complicated, fold the dough in half, press down firmly, turn it ¼ of the way...repeat) for about 1-3 minutes or until the dough is no longer sticky.
Form the bread into a round, slightly flat disc shape and place in a greased (butter) RockCrok Everyday Pan or iron skillet. Using a serrated knife, cut a cross or an X on the top of the bread. Bake at 350° F for 40 minutes. Turn oven off and let the bread sit in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine butter, yogurt, and green (or pink or blue or none) food coloring. Using a handheld electric mixer, mix on low speed until all ingredients are combined and look smooth as a silk cloak made of green gold. Just kidding, green gold doesn't exist and neither does smooth tangy butter. It will look lumpy and bumpy and sort of ugly in it's own beautiful way. It's fine...it tastes incredible. Thanks Mom!
Remove Sandy's Irish Soda Bread from the oven, invert the RockCrok Everyday Pan or skillet and turn the bread (remember, that means dump) out onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. This is the hard part and I never make it a whole 30 minutes before I cut (with a serrated bread knife) the end off. I have to, it's the cooks right...a little taste of heaven before it's time.
Using a serrated bread knife, cut Sandy's Irish Soda Bread in ¼ to ½ inch slices, slather...and I mean slather on the tangy green/pink/blue/au naturel tangy butter. Serve & Enjoy
IF...and that's a big if, there are any leftovers, lightly toast the bread slices and slather with tangy butter for breakfast. Or, make French toast with Irish Soda Bread! I'm doing this! Or...Irish bread pudding with Sandy's Irish Soda Bread, Baileys Irish Cream and how about a Tullamore Dew Maple syrup reduction??? Sounds so good, I think I'll get to work on that recipe! Jeff already named it! Drunken Irish Bread Pudding...I like it!
Thanks, Mom! You are the best Artisan bread maker in my world. You are the best everything in my world, I wouldn't know a thing if it wasn't for you.
Your turn...thank someone who made a difference in your life. It matters. Do it.
Mom's Irish Soda Bread with Tangy Green Butter
Irish Soda Bread
- 4-5 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp heaping ground cinnamon
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp of butter for greasing
Tangy Green Butter
- 1 stick 1/2 cup salted butter room temperature
- 5-6 oz vanilla yogurt
- 1 drop green food coloring optional
Irish Soda Bread
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Soak raisins in 2 cups of buttermilk for 15-30 minutes
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together all dry ingredients
- Pour buttermilk/raisin mixture into dry ingredients
- Combine thoroughly with a wooden spoon, Mix N Scraper or your hands. Dough will be very sticky.
- Add about 1/2 cup of flour to large cutting board or other flat surface. Turn dough out onto surface and being to knead the dough, incorporating the flour on the cutting board. Continue kneading for 1-3 minutes or until dough is no longer sticy.
- Form dough into a round and semi flat disc.
- Grease the RockCrok Everyday Pan or iron skillet with butter.
- Add formed dough to the Everyday Pan and with a serated knife, cut a cross or x on the top of the bread.
- Bake in a 350° F oven for 40 minutes.
- Turn oven off and keep bread in the warm oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove bread from Everyday Pan and cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes before cutting.
Green Tangy Butter
- Combine butter, yogurt, & food coloring (if using) in a medium size mixing bowl. With a hand mixer, blend on low speed until well combined. The mixture will look grainy, this is normal.
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