The Story Behind Irish Soda Bread

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The Story Behind Irish Soda Bread

Read on to learn more about Irish soda bread.

According to the Culinary Institute of America, Irish soda bread came about during the 1800s when baking soda became popular in Irish kitchens. The bread is essentially made of flour, baking soda, salt and sour milk.

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One of the earliest mentions of soda bread appeared in The Gentleman's Magazine in 1916. The editor was looking for a way to make bread with poor quality wheat.

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Using just a few simple ingredients, Irish soda bread was an ideal recipe for rural Irish homes that had limited access to equipment, ingredients and experience.

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In 1845 the Potato Famine hit Ireland. Potatoes were an essential crop for the Irish. This is around the time Irish soda bread grew popular, possibly due to a lack of potatoes.

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In 1850, The Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science explained how people began to depend on Irish soda bread instead of potatoes. "During the failure of the potato crop, a large quantity of bicarbonate of soda was employed by the poorer classes in the preparation of bread; the article consequently became scarce, owing to the increased demand, and the price rose accordingly."

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Irish soda bread is a staple of St. Patrick's Day.

Folks have been enjoying the festive bread for over two centuries. Now it's a classic recipe to bring out every March 17th.

Check out the slideshow above to learn more about the history of Irish soda bread.

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