Before making Martha Stewart’s Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day, I combed through my pantry and realized I already had a few ingredients.
In the United States, Irish soda bread is most popular around St. Patrick’s Day, although in Ireland it is enjoyed all year round. If you’re like me, you might be wondering why it’s called “soda” bread – glad you asked. The name comes from baking soda which is used to leaven the dough, as opposed to yeast. It might not even be really Irish, according to Today.
Stewart’s Recipe asks for butter, flour, sugar, raisins, caraway seeds, baking soda, salt, baking powder, buttermilk and eggs. At home I had the eggs, salt and baking powder, but I needed to go to the grocery store for the full ingredient list.
I had never seen (or smelled) buttermilk before this recipe, so I wasn’t sure if anything was wrong, but a quick Google told me that buttermilk naturally smells more pungent than regular milk , so that was a relief .
I also searched my grocery store for 10 minutes before finally finding the caraway seeds, which have a slight licorice flavor, much like anise.