My Mother’s “Irish Bread” Recipe

Well, of course, real Irish bread is either brown bread (plain) or soda bread (fancy).  But after coming to America, my mother wanted to be SO American. She was even known to make *shudder* corn beef and cabbage – not that I ever once ate it. 1) It stunk to high heaven in my opinion 2) my mother couldn’t cook to save her life. (Thank you Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, which I ate EVERY weekday of my childhood and without which I would have died.)

BUT BOY COULD SHE BAKE!!! Cakes, pies, scones, and this “Irish Bread” recipe. The caraway seeds are optional. I only started using them a couple of years ago and now, I quite like them.

Eileen (Shannon) Cunningham’s Irish Bread:

4 cups flour

½ cup sugar

4 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons caraway seeds (FRESH please! Not hanging around from last year!)

1 stick butter

1 ¼ cups raisins

2 eggs, well beaten

1 ½ cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Mix all dry ingredients except raisins.

Rub in butter.

Add raisins.

Stir in wet ingredients.

Turn out onto floured counter and knead lightly.

Form one large or two smaller round cakes, place on a floured cookies sheet (I use parchment paper as I don’t like the floured bottom).

Cut cross in top and bake for one hour.

When done, you can tell by the hollow sound you get by knocking on the bottom of the loaf.

For a nice crust either rub the warm loaf all over with buttermilk or soak a linen tea towel in buttermilk, squeeze out, then wrap the warm loaf.


Published by Kate Eileen Shannon

Artist, Crafter, Writer, purveyor of ephemera and bagatelle

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