My Recipe for Irish Soda Bread

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These have different amounts of baking soda. The correct amount turned out to be a little less than the one in the middle and a little more than the one on the right.

These have different amounts of baking soda. The correct amount turned out to be a little less than the one in the middle and a little more than the one on the right.

Two days ago, on the morning of Saint Patrick’s Day, I decided that I should celebrate the holiday by making some Irish soda bread for lunch. I’m not a big fan of following recipes, because recipes stifle my creativity, but it’s not easy to make bread without a recipe. Too little or too much of an ingredient can completely mess up the texture. So I decided to compromise with myself and make up my own recipe. I made multi mini-loaves that were slightly different in order to determine the correct proportion of ingredients. The result is that I now have my own recipe for a particularly quick and simple Irish soda bread. I made small, single-serving-size loaves, which isn’t the way Irish soda bread is normally made, but for my purposes, it was convenient. This recipe makes three mini-loaves. I just want to state for the record that I am not an experienced baker and am not claiming that my recipe is the epitome of Irish soda breads, but I thought it turned out decently, considering that I was just making it up as I went along. In the future, I may experiment a little more and come up with an improved version of this recipe, but here is what I have for now.

IMG_0505Preparation time: About half an hour, counting the 15 minutes in the oven

Servings: About 3

Nutrition facts: I have no idea, except that bread is a starch. Also, if I counted correctly, and if that process of baking the bread doesn’t make a difference, each serving has between 150 and 200 calories. Then again, I’m pretty sure that my milk was skim milk, so that kept the caloric count on the low side.


1 egg

1 ½ cups of flour

Approximately 1 cup of buttermilk or sour milk

Approximately 1 tablespoon sugar (a little extra won’t hurt!)

1 teaspoon baking soda

Caraway seeds

Optional: salt

Optional: fruit, preferably raisins. I used cranberries because that’s what I had.


Mix the egg with a couple tablespoons of the milk. Add the flour and stir. Add milk and stir until the texture is thick and doughy. It will be elastic like yeast dough, but less smooth. Add some sugar and the baking soda, plus a sprinkling of caraway seeds and a very small sprinkling of salt if you want. Stir thoroughly, then fold in the fruit. Divide the dough into thirds and plop them onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about fifteen minutes. The surface should be browned and crunchy.


Words From the Abode of My Kin

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This week is spring break. Last Friday, after my calculus exam, I finished packing while watching the newest Worldview Everlasting video, put some stuff in the trunk of my car, checked out of my dorm room, and got into the aforementioned car to drive 373 miles to the abode of my kin. At precisely 4:20 PM, according to the digital alarm clock that I had set up in the cupholder, I turned the key in the ignition. Then, for approximately six hours and fifteen minutes, I journeyed long and far, braving the dangers of treacherous weather (the sun was pretty bright for the last couple hours before sunset), the risk of car failure, and the great perils of the wilderness. (‘Cause one never knows if a mountain lion is suddenly going to jump out at one. They say that mountain lions don’t live around here, but “They” have been wrong before.) Also, we must always be aware of the possibility of space alien attacks.

Waiting for the Saint Patrick's Day parade to startThose hands are the hands of my sister.

Waiting for the Saint Patrick’s Day parade to start
Those hands are the hands of my sister.

But as it so happened, I arrived at the place where my family lives, and in fact made relatively good time. Unfortunately, my spring break has just happened to coincide with illness in this household, which is actually a pretty unusual occurrence. The weekend’s Saint Patrick’s Day festivities were greatly dampened by fevers and headaches. So far, I seem to have managed to stay well (except for allergies, which are the cat’s fault) but who knows how long that’ll last.

As you can see, this animal is quite glad to see me.

As you can see, this animal is quite glad to see me.

This past weekend has been a busy time in this house, and next week will be even busier, (my sister’s confirmation is next Sunday) but in the meantime, there are four or five days that will be about as uneventful as things ever are around here. That could mean one of two things: 1) I’ll have plenty of time for all of the stuff I don’t normally have time for at school, which may include lengthy and potentially interesting blog posts, or 2) I will spend most of the time lounging around on whatever piece of furniture has a cat on it and not actually end up doing much of anything. It remains to be seen which direction my spring break shall take.