Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

by Cara Nicoletti on March 17, 2013


Just a quick post to wish you all a happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’ve come to understand from a few of my Irish friends that the Irish soda bread we eat here in America is not in the slightest bit authentic. Some say the batter would most definitely not contain butter, some say no way to the white flour and sugar, and all say definitely not to the caraway seeds. But this is the Irish soda bread I know well from a childhood spent eating it dipped in milky sugary tea every March, so it’s the one I’ll be providing you with a recipe for today. This soda bread is really more of a skillet-scone (is that a thing?). The sweetness of the sugar and currants is grounded by the caraway seeds, it is light and airy, a little bit tart from the buttermilk —it’s just really a delight.

Not-So-Irish Skillet Soda Bread
Makes 1 10-inch skillet’s-worth (8-10 servings)
3 cups All Purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup (half a standard stick) melted and divided, plus more for greasing skillet
2 Tablespoons caraway seeds
3 Tablespoons dried currants

Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or any oven-safe skillet), line it with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together buttermilk, beaten eggs and 2 Tablespoons of your melted butter.
Stir wet ingredients into dry and mix until batter just comes together. Fold in caraway seeds and currants and pour batter into your greased skillet.
Brush with remaining 2 Tablespoons butter and bake for 40-50 minutes, or golden and firm to the touch.

Since you’re here…
These are a few of my favorite books by Irish authors:
The Revolutions Trilogy by John Banville (includes Doctor Copernicus, Kepler, and The Newton Letter)
The Woman Who Gave Birth To Rabbits By Emma Donoghue
Outside History By Eavan Boland (a collection of poems)
Christine Falls
and The Silver Swan By Benjamin Black (John Banville’s mystery/thriller pen name)
The Gathering
By Anne Enright
Good Behaviour
By Molly Keane
By Samuel Beckett
The Sea By John Banville

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone, now go drink some beers!

Don't forget to follow along for updates:

If there’s a literary food scene you want to see come to life be sure to leave me a comment and let me know! Or take a peek in the Recipe Index.

Leave a Comment

Jenny March 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm

this is in the oven as we speak! what do you do with the remaining 2 T reserved butter?


yummybooks March 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm

So sorry, Jenny! The remaining butter gets brushed on top of the batter before it goes in the oven. If you didn’t do this, though, no problem at all. I did it both ways and they were both delicious. Let me know how it turned out!


Jenny March 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm

OK, I thought that might be the case. it was delicious (sans additional butter)! thanks so much for sharing, and I can’t wait to try more of your recipes. :)


Elizabeth Aquino March 17, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Wonderful — I made corned beef and cabbage today (despite the lack of Irish blood in my family), but I neglected to make the Irish soda bread, so perhaps tomorrow. And I have a very soft spot for the Irish — particularly the poets and the writers.


Previous post:

Next post: