I love Irish soda bread whether it be St. Patrick’s Day or not. I think it’s great in place of bread or dinner rolls. I love the slight taste of baking soda with the sweetness from the currants. However, I’m also a huge fan olive bread and having the saltiness and brininess of the olives in conjuction with olive oil or butter. So naturally, I put them together.

You get the classic taste of rise of soda bread with this recipe, adapted from Ms. Ina Garten along with the sweet and salty juxtaposition of the currants (in this case - raisins) and the briny kalamata olives.

Olive Raisin Irish Soda Bread

(Makes 1 loaf)

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dried raisins, diced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, diced
  • 2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  2. Cut in butter with a fork or pastry cutter.
  3. Add in the diced raisins, olives and orange zest.
  4. Mix together the buttermilk and egg. Add into the dry mixture and mix until wet dough forms.
  5. Put into a buttered loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown.