Well Dressed Eats – Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

It’s that time of year again, where everyone pulls out their finest green attire and claims to be straight from the Emerald Isle – St. Patrick’s Day! And for me this year is no different then in the past, as we are heading to mom’s yearly corned beef and cabbage supper! Last year, I baked up a healthy corn-bread muffin recipe that I brought to dinner for everyone to use to dab up all that beef jus, but this year I’m taking a more traditional route and will be making a couple loafs of good ole fashioned Irish Soda Bread. Well, almost traditional. I still wanted to add a slightly healthier spin on this yummy, dense, soft bread so I made it partly with whole wheat flour! It gave it a darker color, and just a slightly nuttier taste which, I think, really paired well with the raisins I threw in too! Now many think Irish Soda bread has been around since the days of St. Patrick himself, but not exactly, it wasn’t till baking soda was introduced to Ireland in the 1800s that this bread got its start. Look at that, never thought you’d get a little history lesson from a lifestyle blog, did ya!?!?! But seriously, this bread is super easy, you probably have everything you need right in your kitchen! Only iffy thing may be the buttermilk, but guess what? Have regular milk? Lemon? Vinegar!? Well then you can make your own “buttermilk.” Just add 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice or white vinegar (not both!) to 1 cup of milk. I put vinegar into 1% milk and it worked GREAT! This bread is perfect any time of year since it’s sooooo darn simple and you’ll feel good about giving your family (or in my case my coworkers) something fresh and healthy! Plus this is a great way to start the day that will soon be filled with green beer, Irish coffee and Guiness! Want to serve it with a more savory dish? Leave out the raisins and sugar and you have a great basic table bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% buttermilk
  • 3 oz (2/3 cup) raisins or craisins (heck throw some dried cherries or even nuts if you want!)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Mix all dry ingredients (first 5) in a large bowl with a whisk.
  • Slowly add buttermilk stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough is formed.
  • Add raisins, knead the dough lightly on a sheet of wax paper or a floured surface for about 1 minute. (I didn’t feel like being messy and I just used a spatula and kept folding the dough right in my mixing bowl before dumping it out onto my baking sheet!)
  • Form into a round, slightly flattened shape.
  • Place on a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Using a sharp knife, make an X at the top about 1/2 inch deep. Bake about 40 minutes, until golden. (Mine literally took 40 mins on the dot!) You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the center, just as it would for a cake!
  • Let it cool on a bakers rack for about 5-10 minutes before serving. Now top with butter or jam and Enjoy!!!

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