Maud Herlihy's Irish Soda Bread is a St. Patrick's Day classic. Bill Herlihy, the executive in charge of "The Martha Stewart Show," shares a recipe from his mother, Maud.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees with a rack set in lower third of oven. Lightly butter a 10-inch round cast-iron skillet; set aside.

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  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter, sour cream and egg; mix, using a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in raisins, buttermilk, and caraway seeds, if using, and mix until a sticky dough forms.

  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a floured bench scraper, form into a round loaf; using a sharp knife score a large "X" in the center.

  • Place in prepared skillet and transfer to oven. Bake until loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. If top begins to brown too quickly, loosely cover with a piece of parchment paper-lined aluminum foil. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Reviews (20)

47 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 14
  • 4 star values: 17
  • 3 star values: 9
  • 2 star values: 6
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: Unrated
12/23/2016
The dough was sticky & a little hard to work but no big deal, you just have to "cowboy up" & do it! This recipe won me Best Irish Soda Bread @ my families annual St Patrick's Day Dinner, I wouldn't change a thing. My hint, though, is to use the food processor: I put the dry ingredients in the bowl of the processor, pulsed to whisk then pulse in the butter, egg and sour cream to get that consistency they talk about. I then removed it to a bowl & added the buttermilk. So easy & yummy. A hit@work!
Rating: Unrated
03/14/2013
Forgot to say that the butter is melted, cooled, before added to the buttermilk when using the green food coloring, which is also added to same. Otherwise you'll end up with white blotches in the Green Irish Soda Bread and 1/2 teaspoon of the Cream of Tartar is added to the dry ingredients. Just 3/4 cup of buttermilk used instead of 1 cup of buttermilk. The raisins are kneaded after mixing the liquid and dry ingredients together so no white spots from same. NO eggs or sour cream added at all.
Rating: Unrated
03/14/2013
Forgot to say that the raisins are kneaded in AFTER the buttermilk mixture is added to the dry ingredients when using the green food coloring for the Green Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick's Day. If the butter/margerine is cut into the dry ingredients, you will have white blotches in your Green Irish Soda Bread., the reason for melting the butter/margerine and adding it to just 3/4 cup of the buttermilk, with no eggs nor sour cream used in it and 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar added to dry mix.
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Rating: Unrated
03/14/2013
Thought it would be similar to Mom's recipe for Irish Soda Bread which dates back to the 1940's that was published in the Newark NJs Star Ledger which doesn't call for sour cream nor any eggs in it at all, that has cream of tartar in it instead of those two ingredients. The butter/margerine is melted and added to the buttermilk mixture, and, if green food coloring added, it is added to this liquid mixture before mixing it with the dry ingredients for the St. Patrick's Day Green Irish Soda Bread.
Rating: Unrated
03/12/2013
Excellent, just like my grandmother's recipe.
Rating: Unrated
06/04/2012
I felt the dough was extremely wet. Maybe cutting back on buttermilk would help.
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Rating: Unrated
03/10/2011
I substituted 1/2c old fashioned oats and 1/2c wheat bran for 1c of the flour and skipped the raisins. This bread was very moist and I'll make it again, though it was a little sweet for my taste. I think next time I will cut back on the sugar and maybe a little less butter.
Rating: Unrated
04/15/2010
I just made this bread. I substituted the buttermilk with milk and apple cider vinegar and I added cranberries, raisins and sunflower seeds.I want to make an extra batch to freeze. It's the best recipe!
Rating: Unrated
04/11/2010
I made this bread - it was so easy and so delicious. I did not have a bench scraper or a iron skillet, but bread was still great. My husband said this recipe is a keeper. Thanks for sharing. We give it 5 out of 5 stars. Kathy Wissmann
Rating: Unrated
04/09/2010
This bread is the best I have ever made. My husband isn't a bread guy and he loved it too.
Rating: Unrated
04/02/2010
Is this dough supposed to be this wet?? It was about impossible to handle it, but it turned out delicious.
Rating: Unrated
03/25/2010
Granddad Herlihy would have got great enjoyment from this!!!!
Rating: Unrated
03/20/2010
5 out of 5 stars! Delicious, just like mom used to make. Try this recipe and you wont be disappointed. Thanks Bill and Tim.
Rating: Unrated
03/20/2010
5 out of 5 stars! Delicious, just like mom used to make. Try this recipe and you wont be disappointed. Thanks Bill and Tim.
Rating: Unrated
03/20/2010
Does this recipe work well with a standard loaf tin. I don't have a skillet?
Rating: Unrated
03/18/2010
This is the best recipe for Irish Soda bread I've ever tried. I did substitute sprouted wheat flour (could not get Irish wheatmeal), reduced the raisins to 1 cup and added a tablespoon of caraway seeds. I used Irish butter and Annies organic buttermilk too. This one's going in the permanent recipe file. Thank you!
Rating: Unrated
03/17/2010
Absolutely delicious ! I left out the raisins because most of family does not like it in the soda bread, but made a second one fore me with them. This recipe is perfect. Happy St. Patrick's Day !
Rating: Unrated
03/17/2010
I just made this soda bread for St. Paddy's day as well, and it is definitely a keeper. Moist, slightly sweet, delicious! Thanks, Bill, for sharing the recipe with us.
Rating: Unrated
03/17/2010
i just made this for st. patricks day and it came out so moist and tasty! a must try!!!
Rating: Unrated
03/17/2010
Bill Herlihy..I shall try this strictly because of our shared last name. Are your ancestors from Annascaul? Eileen Herlihy (eherlihy@frontiernet.net)