Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread

By Lucia Ferrara

This is a recipe that was given to me by a friend how got it from his Irish grandmother, so you know it’s going to be good. This is a perfect accompaniment for a steaming bowl of Beef and Guinness® Stew or corned beef and cabbage. It’s also great with a pat of butter when it’s fresh out of the oven. This makes one large loaf, more than enough for a family dinner.

Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread

  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 2/3 cup butter milk
  • 2 tbsp crumbled cold butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2-3 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 egg

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes; then reduce the heat to 400 degrees and bake 30 more minutes. Important: Do not open the oven door during the baking time. This could cause the loaf to fall.

Cooking & Spirituality

Here’s a blessing you can share the clan you gather with on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s from Fr. Andrew Greeley, the late Chicago priest, sociologist and novelist. It comes from his A Book of Irish American Blessings and Prayers (Thomas More Press, 1991).

A Prayer on St. Patrick’s Day

May it be a grand day for all of you
Be ye Irish or as Patrick as you’d like to be
May your jars be limited to just a few
May you revel in God’s great diversity
In a land where Muslim, Protestant, Catholic, Jew
Enjoy a constitutional variety
Modestly raise a quiet cry and hue
To give thanks for peaceful ethnicity
And praise for pluralism’s brightest jewel.
Drink joyous toast, in all sobriety
To the one from many neath red, white and blue.
And may God bless you, this glorious day
The father who holds the world together
The son who walked among us
And the spirit who makes each of us unique

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[Lucia Ferrara, the Director of Hospitality at Precious Blood Renewal Center. Share your thoughts with Lucia or ask her questions using the form below or by sending an email to]

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