This classic quick bread is speckled with rum raisins for a sweet, slightly salty treat for St. Patrick’s Day.
There’s a small Irish gift shop near where I live and it is probably one of my favorite stores around. Set in an old Victorian house now painted pink and green, it’s the type of place you run into when you’re quickly looking for a gift, but then get lost in all its treasures. An hour later you find yourself with a gift for everyone including yourself, and a few British delights as well.
On one similar occasion, a good friend had just announced her engagement and I paid this little shop a visit in search of a keepsake for her and her soon-to-be. A good hour or so later, I walked out with a few trinkets, and as I traditionally do, and some sweet treats as well. It’s the only place where I can find things like Fruit Pastilles, Maltesers, and Lion Bars among other delights. I also discovered while browsing, an Irish Soda Bread mix. It was the first time I had ever made my own, even if it was semi-homemade.
In short, I’ve always wanted to recreate that bread but this time, from scratch.
There are a lot of variations when it comes to this quick bread. I’ve seen it made with caraway, rye, whole wheat, and even beer. While I’m sure they are all delicious and I’d love to try each of them, I began with a very basic recipe using only all-purpose flour. I wanted to keep it quick, easy, and accessible. My own spin on this traditional bread lies not in the batter but the raisins. I gave them a quick soak in rum before adding them to the dough.
I have to admit, a slice of this in the morning warmed with butter is absolute heaven. It was reminiscent of the bread I made from the Irish gift shop which was the goal I wanted to achieve. So, it brings me great pleasure passing this recipe on to you.
Irish Soda Bread is very easy to make, so please don’t be intimidated, and this recipe in particular guarantees a soft loaf that is a little sweet and a little salty with a subtle flavor of rum underneath it all.
On this day where everyone is Irish in their hearts 😉 I hope you enjoy today’s recipe and in closing, here is a little blessing to carry with you as we celebrate the feast of St. Patrick:
May God grant you many years to live,
For sure He must be knowing
The earth has angels all too few
And heaven is overflowing.