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Quick Rye Irish Soda Bread

Saint Patrick’s Day reminds me of family and tradition. Every year as a child, I would spend this holiday with my dad & siblings donning tons of green, chowing on corned beef, cabbage & potatoes and watching The Quiet Man. We’d laugh and dad would sing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”. I always felt like my green eyes were somehow attached to my distant Irish heritage, a physical reminder of my ancestry more permanent than my Irish last name. Being Irish American, as it turns out however, is way more common than being Irish – seven times more common, in fact. And on Saint Patrick’s Day, you can bet that population somehow seems to increase tenfold. Hey, any excuse to party it up, right?

Even though I love a good party and bar hop, this holiday was never about that for me. It was about the food, the family, the entertainment and, ok, maybe we will have a Guinness or two…

Irish Soda Bread is about as traditional as it gets and while you will find many recipes out there that call for butter, sugar, eggs, currants and the like, original soda bread did not contain any of those ingredients. Sugar was very expensive 200 hundred years ago and raisins were a luxury item so they therefore reserved for special occasions. And butter? Save that good Irish butter for spreading on top of your bread (try Kerrygold Irish Butter – it’s the best!)

Soda bread was the first kind of bread I learned how to make. My husband is from Austria and voraciously addicted to good bread. I started making soda bread for him because it was simple, hearty and didn’t take up too much of my precious time while studying in law school. My favorite is that made with whole grain flours because of the robust texture. Also, without any butter or sugar in the dough, it’s quite healthy. With this quick and easy recipe, you can have homemade bread anytime.


Quick Rye Irish Soda Bread


Servings: 8-10 • Size: 1 slice • Weight Watcher Points+: 3

Calories: 150 • Fat: 1g • Carbs: 31g • Fiber: 10g • Protein: 7g

Sugars: 2g • Sodium: 559mg • Cholesterol: 0mg



Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and caraway seeds in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk. With a fork, slowly incorporate the flour into the buttermilk. Use your hands to incorporate the last bits of flour into the dough. If dough is too dry add a little more buttermilk. Form into a slightly flattened circle and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut a large X in the center of the dough. Bake 40-45 minutes or until bread is dark brown. It will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.