Cook the Book – Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread goes perfect with New England Boiled Dinner and of course the perfect side for your St Patrick’s Day dinner.

There are several theories as to the significance of the cross in soda bread. Some believe that the cross was placed in the bread to ward off evil (the devil) or to let the fairies out of the bread.

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2  teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 cup currants
1 1/2 cups sour milk

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Mix in the sugar, caraway seeds and raisins.
Stir in the milk until a ball forms. Turn onto floured board and knead until smooth (about 5-10 turns). Cut the dough in half and shape into two 6″ round loaves. Place the loaves on the cookie pan. Make two cuts on top of the loaves in the shape of a cross.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Makes 2 loaves

Recipe from At Home, At Sea: Recipes from the Maine Windjammer J&E Riggin

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  • Greg
    March 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    A recipe I have for Irish Soda Bread calls for “whole grain white wheat flour,
    preferably sprouted”.
    Its also referred to as a “soft wheat flour”. Not sure what this is.
    Can I use basic wheat flour?

    • Annie Mahle
      March 16, 2010 at 8:39 am

      Hi Greg!
      How fun that you are playing around with making your own bread.

      Sprouted flours are ones where the grains have literally been soaked in water to encourage sprouting to begin. They are then dried and milled like regular grains. The interesting part about this is that research shows that sprouted flours are much more easily digestible due to the enzymatic action of sprouting and fermentation AND they are much higher in nutrients. They actually act more like vegetables in our bodies rather than grains. For this reason, they are easier on gluten intolerant systems.

      As for the “whole wheat white” part of the question, I’m flummoxed. It’s either whole wheat or its white, you can’t have both. Could be “wheat white flour” meaning not spelt or rice, etc. flour, but this reads like a run on sentence to me. Because the whole grain is sprouted, it would seem you’d be using whole grain flour.

      Soft wheat flour would be from grains grown in the spring. It has less gluten/protein than winter or hard wheat. I would think an online search would provide a source for purchase. I don’t know of a place locally that sells sprouted flour, but Fresh Off the Farm would be my best guess. I checked Shiloh’s website and the spring flour is currently out of stock, which makes sense since it only has a 6 month shelf life.

      In short, I don’t think just substituting whole wheat flour will give you the same result, but that’s not to say that you couldn’t play with it.

      I found a couple of links which you may find interesting for further reading:…And-Your-Grains-Will-Be-Kind-To-You.html

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