Irish Soda Bread is good for St. Patrick’s day, to be sure. But, this bread is such a wonderful complement to soup (particularly vegetable, tomato or split pea) that it is a Saturday staple at our home all winter long.
At least it was — until two of us went dairy free. The little recipe card spent a couple of years languishing in my tattered, old-school box until I realized that all the dairy that makes this recipe so moist and wonderful could just as easily be apple sauce.
So, after experimenting, here is my dual version of Irish Soda Bread. You decide whether or not to use dairy — or even go full vegan with this one.
Irish Soda Bread
Using butter or vegan/dairy-free substitute, grease and flour a pie plate or round cake pan. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of uncooked, old-fashioned oats evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 3 Tablespoons sugar, 1 pinch of cream of tartar, 1/2 cup raisins and 1 Tablespoon carraway seeds. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Here is where bakers can choose to use dairy or eggs or to make substitutions for non-dairy or vegan cooking. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons melted butter OR vegan substitute OR olive oil; 2 eggs OR vegan substitute; 1 cup sour cream (I recommend full fat) OR unsweetened apple sauce; and 1/2 cup dairy milk OR nut milk.
Combine the mixtures in the large bowl and stir with a non-reactive spoon until just incorporated.
Pour dough into the prepared pan and round as much as you can. Slash a quick cross into the top with an old-fashioned razor blade or an extremely sharp knife. Bake 50-60 minutes, until a deep, golden brown on top. Cool on a rack.
This recipe doubles well and freezes well. It is wonderful with soup and as toast (made in skillet, not in toaster). It is too crumbly for sandwiches, however.