It started innocently enough. “Would you like a slice of bread?” Marge wasn’t a pusher, not even pushy. She didn’t need to be: her bread spoke for itself.
Just one taste and I desperately needed the recipe and Marge obliged. She even gave me a 9″ aluminum skillet with instructions to use it only for baking. Some people use a cast iron skillet. Make sure that whatever you use is oven-safe.
Buttermilk is sold by the quart, so you’ll already have the ingredients on hand to make a second loaf immediately after the first disappears. See, that’s how it begins. My Source: Marge C., New Jersey, USA
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup raisins (or more if you’re a raisin lover)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- less than 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
- 2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375-400F.
Mix dry ingredients.
Add raisins and mix.
Add buttermilk until mixture becomes doughy.
Knead a little in the bowl and pat the dough flat into a greased 9″ pan.
The crust will turn a light golden brown. The bread is ready when a tap on the center top crust produces a hollow sound — about 40 minutes. If you’re not sure of what you’re hearing, you can insert a knife vertically into the center of the bread. If the bread is finished, the knife will come out clean.
It may take a few loaves to get the temperature and timing just right. The freshness of the baking soda will also effect the baking time.
The hardest part of making Marge’s Irish Soda Bread is allowing it to cool before slicing.