Serious Eats: Recipes

Bread Baking: Soda Bread with Dried Cranberries

[Photograph: Donna Currie]

Public Service Announcement: Most Irish soda bread includes raisins. However, I don't like raisins. So if you're lookin' at the soda bread picture thinking that the raisins look suspiciously pink, it's because they are dried cranberries. Use raisins if you prefer.

This is an American-style soda bread. The original Irish soda bread didn't have raisins. Or cranberries. Some American-style Irish soda bread also includes caraway. This one doesn't, but if you like it, feel free to add two to four tablespoons of caraway along with the dry ingredients. You can always go gluten-free with rice flours.

I found one recipe for soda bread that included cornmeal. In fact, it would have made a nice cornbread. Apparently during the famine in Ireland in 1848, the United States shipped dried corn to Ireland. No one knew what to do with it, so they ground it up and made bread. Whether that's true or not, it would be a fine excuse for making cornbread to go with your corned beef.

About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. She writes the blog Cookistry and has joined the Serious Eats team with a weekly column about baking.

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