How does a carb lover (like me) celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? By baking a loaf of Irish soda bread studded with raisins and turning it into French toast to gild the lily. You can make it a complete meal by serving it with fresh fruit and a mug of Irish coffee – and no one will miss the corned beef and cabbage.
Irish soda bread has a bad rap for being dry and crumbly. And it certainly can be. Traditional soda bread is often stale and flavorless, made up of just four ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. But many modern recipes include butter and eggs to help create a crumb that’s rich, moist and cakey. Currants, citrus peel or caraway can also be added to make it slightly sweet or savory.
But when preparing French toast, you must use a sturdy bread that will hold up to a little handling. Irish soda bread is an ideal candidate as long as it’s a more dense than delicate pastry. You can buy a loaf, but it’s just as easy to make your own. I followed an Irish soda bread recipe with butter but no eggs, and threw in a handful of regular and golden raisin, to achieve the right flavor and consistency.
Serve this French toast with a heavy dusting of powdered sugar or glug of maple syrup and fresh fruit – and the luck of the Irish will be with you!
Recipe adapted from Sweet Remedy.
- ½ loaf Irish soda bread (homemade or store bought)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- powdered sugar, maple syrup, fresh fruit (for topping)
- Slice bread into ¾"-thick pieces. Set aside.
- Crack the eggs into a shallow dish large enough to hold 2 bread slices. Add milk, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk until well combined.
- Warm a fry pan or griddle over medium heat and lightly grease with butter.
- Place 2 slices of bread in the egg mixture and let sit for 1 minute. Flip bread and let sit for another minute. Transfer bread slices to hot pan or griddle. Cook for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes until the underside is fully cooked.
- Repeat with remaining bread slices. Serve with powdered sugar, maple syrup and fruit, if desired.