I’ve edited dozens of “Homemade on the Heights” cooking and cocktail recipes during my two years as an editor in the magazine section. So, when it came time for me to write my final magazine story as a Heights editor, I knew it was only fitting to finally write one myself.
My mom is the best cook I know, and growing up, I watched her make delicious meals for my four siblings and me. While at home in Tennessee, I love sitting at our kitchen counter and watching her cook as music plays in the background. Now, in my own college house, I try to emulate my mom, blasting ABBA as I cook for myself.
Of all of the dishes we make, my nana’s Irish soda bread is a family favorite. With its crusty exterior and soft, mildly sweet interior, this bread is perfect for dipping in your favorite fall or winter soup, eating for breakfast, or even just snacking on.
Though this bread is delicious, the story behind it is why my family and I hold it so close to our hearts—the recipe has been passed down through five generations of women on my mom’s side of the family. Whenever I make this bread, I think of my beautiful nana who passed away. It reminds me that no matter where I am, she is still with me.
Not only is this recipe forever connected with my nana, but now, it is also connected with my time on The Heights. I’ve adored every moment of the past two years in the magazine section, and I can’t imagine my life without the friends I’ve made, the lessons I’ve learned, and the stories I’ve written. The whole journey has been an honor and a privilege, and when I’m abroad next semester, thousands of miles away from the Heights office and Boston College, I can bake this bread and remember those I love—the ones who are gone and the ones back at BC.
Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
4 oz of butter softened (I used Kerrygold)
1 ¼ cups of buttermilk
1 cup dried currants (can substitute with raisins if desired)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the currants in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for about 15 minutes or until the currants are soft and plump.
- In a large bowl, combine together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, sugar, butter, eggs, and buttermilk.
- Once the currants are soft, drain the water and add the currants to the dough mixture. Mix together until combined. I use my hands but you can use a wooden spoon or spatula instead.
- Once the dough has combined and becomes stiff, place on the prepared baking sheet. Form dough into a round loaf shape.
- Using a sharp knife, slash the top of dough with an “X.”
- Bake for an hour or until golden brown. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the bread.
- Slice and enjoy warm with Kerrygold Irish butter.