March 17, 2013

Irish soda bread with whiskey raisins and caraway

While I am part Irish, I don't think my family ever made soda bread. I really wanted to have some at our St. Patrick's Day dinner this year. After some reading, I decided use bits and pieces from a few different recipes including Melissa Clarke's Cook this Now version and one from Nourished Kitchen. The result was something very flavorful and delicious. We loved the combination of raisins plumped with whiskey, caraway, and butter. The bread was nice and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. I didn't want this bread to be too "cake" like with a lot of sugar and butter, so I used less of these than most recipes that I saw. Even though I didn't want it like cake, I still wanted it to be richer than just flour, baking soda, and buttermilk. This jazzed-up soda bread is a nice accompaniment to your corned beef dinner, or even as an addition to a brunch. I served this bread with some extra butter (Kerrygold) mixed with a touch of honey and salt. 

Irish soda bread with whiskey raisins and caraway
1 cup rasins
about 1/3 cup whiskey 
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
1 tablespoon caraway seeds 

Mix the raisins and whiskey (just enough to about cover the raisins) in a small bowl. Let soak at least 2 hours or overnight. Then drain well.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl (or large measuring cup) whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry until the are almost combined. Then add the drained raisins and caraway. Continue to stir until just combined. 

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface using lightly floured hands. Shape into a disc about 7-inches in diameter. Place onto a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking stone. Score the bread with a cross. Brush with the remaining tablespoon of butter.

Bake until the top and bottom turn lightly golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly, about 40-45 minutes. Serve warm with honey butter, if desired. 

What was I cooking one year ago?: Irish oaten rolls
Two years ago?: orange-sour cream-poppy seed loaf cake 
Three?: creamy lemon tart with blueberries


  1. Great bread! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  2. I have never had bread with whiskey! This must be so flavorful.

  3. It looks and sounds terrific!

  4. I always thought soda bread would taste funny, but I had it recently and loved it! You really amped this one up, too ;)

  5. Soda bread is something I've never made either. Probably because of my husband's distaste for raisins. Perhaps he would like your boozey raisin though :)

    1. Raisins are pretty much the one thing my husband doesn't really like either. I wanted to use dried currants, but couldn't find them. The whiskey definitely helps though - he ate it and liked it!

  6. What a gorgeous craggy loaf of bread! I am loving the whiskey! I bet it adds a lot of flavor.

  7. You've definitely inspired me to purchase some caraway seeds soon!

  8. I love how you infused the raisins with such awesome flavors! Definitely makes for a more tasty bread!

  9. whiskey and carraway seeds seem like such good additions, along with kerry gold and a little salt, of course :) yum!!

  10. It looks gorgeous! I've never tried soda bread, but I hear good things. I think it's about time I do!

  11. I've never made soda bread myself but your recipe is very inspiring so I'll try :)
    To soak the raisins in Whiskey is a great idea, I'm sure it makes the bread even tastier.

  12. I haven't baked any soda bread in a yours with rustic look. Irresistible!

  13. Nice bread Amy, I yet have to bake bread with soda...I like the raisins soaked in whiskey...
    Hope you are having a fun week :)

  14. I don't care for raisins and therefore don't want to adulterate soda bread with them, but I wonder about just throwing some whiskey into the dough in place of some of the liquid, because what a great idea it is to bring whiskey's flavour into soda bread!

  15. Bread with whiskey infused raisins sounds like a treat on St. Patrick's Day or any day. Bravo to reducing the sugar =)


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