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O'Perkins Soda Bread

This heafty, hearty, flavorful soda bread recipe honors the proud Irish Heritage of the Sky Manor Perkins Clan, if we have any! 

A hybrid of several traditioinal recipes, I tend to use "light" ingredients when possible, but note that the standard options are in parentheses.

Do it your way, and enjoy in March or any time!

- O'Perkins Soda Bread -


- Dry

  • 4 Cups Unbleached Flour (which soaks up liquid differently than Bleached!)
  • 2 T Baking Soda
  • 2 T Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt

- Liquid

  • 2/3 Cup Egg Substitute - 'RealEgss' (or 2 Eggs)
  • 1 Cup Fat Free Half and Half (or Buttermilk)
  • 1/2 Cup Vodka (this is from a pie crust recipe that helps workability of the dough)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

- Additions

  • 4 oz Pecans
  • 4-6 oz Raisins
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar  Substitute - 'Truvia' (or Sugar)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon (mixed with the above for Cinnamon Sugar)

- Topping

  • 2 T melted Light Butter (or Butter) to brush on at the end.
  • Caraway or Poppy seeds


I like to work with 4 small to medium stainless bowls to get everything ready for combining.  The lovely (Sister Mary Supplied) ceramic Soda Bread Pan that I use calls for lightly flouring, so I spray it with non-stick Olive Oil spray and dust it with some flour ahead of time.

  • Combine the Dry Ingredients above.
  • Lightly beat the eggs for about a minute or so until they are a little frothy.
  • Mix in the remaining Liquid Ingredients.
  • Combine the Dry and Liquid Ingredients and as the dough becomes workable...
  • Fold in the Pecans and Raisins
  • With well foured hands and a well floured surface, knead the dough a bit to finish the combining of all and creation of a dough that is of an O'workable consistency.
  • Flatten out the dough to about 1/2" thick and sprinkle the Cinnamon Sugar to cover the surface.
  • Fold the dough back in on itself and knead/reform it back into a ball, which should create internal ribbons of Cinnamon Sugar.  Don't worry too much about containing all the Cinnamon Sugar... it was a bit messy when I did it.
  • Place the Dough in/on the Soda Bread Pan of your choice.
  • Run some slices with a sharp knife across the top of the dough, crisscrossing as desired.
  • Top with any leftover Cinnamon Sugar and Carrawy or Poppy seeds of your choice.


  • Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
  • I literally baked it for 55 minutes, yeilding a dark crust, with light dough showing in the cracks, and nicely done througout the loaf.  There could be flexibility here.
  • Just before the time is up, nuke the butter for 30 seconds to melt, and have a brush handy.
  • When it comes out of the oven, first and foremost, take a big whiff of that gorgeous aroma!  Then, transfer the loaf to a cooling rack.  Mine did not stick at all to the pan.
  • Finally, brush the top and crevices of the loaf with the melted butter and allow it to cool.
  • Use a good, sharp, serrated knife for slicing, which can be done carefully while still warm if you can't wait.

Consumption and other Notes

A thick slice of this bread, toasted in a toaster oven (if it won't fit in your toaster) and coated with a little butter and crabapple jelly (or whatever is YOUR favorite) is simply heavenly!  The "Additions" are optional or switchable to meet your preferences as well.

This time, I happened to see Sun Maid "baking raisins" which are moister that snacking raisins, and they came in a 6 oz pouch, so I used the whole thing.  Less may work just as well.  We just like Pecans in this house, so that's why we made that choice.

I haven't even tried this recipe with the "Less Light" ingredients, but I believe they would work just as well.