Traditional Irish Baking

Ireland has a long tradition of baking various types of breads, cakes and puddings. If you ever visit the home of a traditional Irish family, it is not unlikely that you would be greeted by the fragrant smell of something baking in the oven. In the past, Irish families were often large families with many mouths to feed. Baking bread, scones and cakes was a way of filling all of those hungry bellies. As with other Irish cuisine, the Irish have their own take on things when it comes to baking and have many recipes that stand out from their European counterparts. You will find a lot of these available in the high street bakeries and local Irish restaurants, too.

Perhaps one of the most Irish of all would be the potato bread, and a variation on this being the potato scone. Often, the Irish will use potatoes for the main course, so it is easy to cook a few extra and then add them to a baked dish to serve on the side or as a snack. Scones are also often made without potatoes as a sweet to eat after the main course. Soda bread is another very popular kind of bread famed in Ireland, made with flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and buttermilk. Then you have the ‘farl’, with the word farl coming from the Gaelic ‘fardel’, meaning four parts as it is a flatbread served in quarters. Another to mention is the ‘barm brack’, which is a yeasted bread made with mixed dried fruits, such as sultanas and raisins. Lastly, sticking with the dried fruits theme, if you visit Dublin you have to try the ‘gur cake’, which is a like a sandwich cake. It has two thin layers of sweetened pastry on the outside and a layer of mixed dried fruit and cake crumbs or bread crumbs in the middle.