Thursday, March 20, 2014

RAISIN SODA BREAD - Great Irish Bake 2

Kneaded dough
This is our second Great Irish Bake for Temple Street baking session. Lately I've been craving my mother's soda bread with raisins but as she lives 90 miles away, I've had to resort to making it myself. In my novel out next year, Miss Emily, Emily Dickinson's maid, Ada, shows her how to make soda bread. Dickinson was a good baker in her own right. (Which may be where my craving stems from - I am editing the book at the moment.)

The Odlums Baking site calls soda bread with raisins in it 'Station Bread'. I haven't heard this before - is this something to do with the stations of the cross, I wonder? Where is Regina Sexton when you need her?! I shall go and consult her history of Irish food and see if it mentions Station Bread.

This bread has about 99 calories per serving. (Adding butter means extra kcals!)

Cutting the cross - to keep the devil out of the bread


450g plain flour
1 level tsp bread soda
2 level tsps cream of tartar
big pinch of salt
1 tblsp white sugar
25g margarine

half pint milk 
a handful of raisins


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas 6
  2. Sprinkle flour onto a round baking tray
  3. Sieve flour, bread soda, cream of tartar and salt into a bowl. Add sugar after sieving and mix through
  4. Rub in the margarine until it's like breadcrumbs
  5. Add milk and mix to make a soft dough.
  6. Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead a little
  7. Turn over and shape into a round. Place the dough on a floured tin
  8. Cut a deepish cross into the loaf
  9. Bake for 45 minutes
  10. Tap underneath, if there's a hollow sound, the loaf is done
  11. Cool on a wire tray, covering with a tea towel to give a softer crust 
  12. Slather with butter and eat. Yum!
The finished bread