This Irish Soda Bread Recipe Is a Sweet Hudson Valley Treat

Make this St. Patrick's Day must-have from scratch with an Irish soda bread recipe from Meredith's Bread in Kingston.

March is here, and along with it is the season of Irish celebrations in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Besides corned beef dinners and plates of bangers and mash, Irish soda bread is another classic that deserves a spot on your plate this month. Instead of picking up a generic loaf of the beloved bread from your local supermarket, make it fresh with this easy recipe from Kingston-based bakery Meredith’s Bread.

Beginning in 1987 as a small bakery featuring only 10 products, Meredith’s Bread has since grown into a company that provides a selection of over 180 quality baked goods at farmers’ markets across the Hudson Valley and its Kingston outpost. As a family-owned and -operated business, Meredith’s strives to support local agriculture by sourcing ingredients from farms and producers in the region. “The act of baking is known the world over as a form of expression and source of comfort,” says the Allen family, the face behind the bakery. With this recipe, baking the perfect loaf of Irish soda bread at home couldn’t be easier or more delicious.

Meredith’s Irish Soda Bread

Course: Dessert, SnacksCuisine: IrishDifficulty: Medium
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

10

minutes

This Irish soda bread recipe comes from the Hudson Valley’s very own Meredith Bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces

  • 3/4 cup raisins

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1 egg

  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Cooking spray or vegetable oil

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  • Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, caraway seeds, baking soda, and sea salt in a bowl.
  • Work the butter into the dry ingredients with your hands (or a fork) until it becomes crumbly.
  • Stir in the raisins.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract.
  • Slowly add wet ingredients to the flour-butter mixture, and stir until it forms a dough.
  • Dust your hands with flour, place the dough onto a floured surface, and gently knead it into a ball. Dough will remain a little sticky; don’t add too much extra flour while shaping.
  • Dust your hands with flour, place the dough onto a floured surface, and gently knead it into a ball. Dough will remain a little sticky; don’t add too much extra flour while shaping.
  • Let rest for 20 minutes.
  • Bake for 35–45 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.

Sweet and tangy thanks to the addition of buttermilk in the recipe, Irish soda bread is the timeless, yeast-free treat that’s perfect alongside soups and stews or simply slathered in butter or honey. You can swap the raisins and caraway seeds for other mix-ins to make the bread sweeter or more savory depending on what flavor profile you’re craving, and serve the bread either as a side dish or as the perfect dessert to follow up an Irish meal. No matter how you make it, a slice of Meredith’s Irish soda bread is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the Hudson Valley.

Related: Visit These Irish Pubs and Restaurants for St. Patrick’s Day in the Hudson Valley

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