Making Irish soda bread. Is there a substitute for caraway seeds? Can I leave them out?

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9 Comments

LE B. March 23, 2014
Cumin is in the caraway family, and i make a soda bread with cumin and figs:
http://food52.com/recipes/21343-other-than-irish-soda-bread-with-cumin-fennel-and-figs
 
Declan March 20, 2014
There's no Caraway in the original.
It's "an add-on".
Sounds good though.
 
Pegeen March 18, 2014
I've never heard of orange peel. I love Darina Allen but must respectfully beg to differ: white soda bread with caraway seed was indeed made in Ireland. The most classic every-day bread was brown bread, like Merrill's (no caraway seed, no raisins). Soda bread made with white flour was considered more special. The cook might add raisins OR caraway seeds to a white soda bread, depending on the region (but not both). This goes back hundreds of years. It's possible that the ability to add ANY embellishments to flour dwindled as the potato famines made paupers (and emigrants) of millions of Irish.
 
Maedl March 18, 2014
According to Darina Allen (Ballymaloe cookery), traditional Irish soda bread does not contain caraway--Irish immigrants in the US added the caraway and orange peel.
 
Pegeen March 17, 2014
p.s. I meant to write, "Traditional soda bread recipes have caraway seeds OR raisins OR are plain, without either."
 

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Pegeen March 17, 2014
Yes, you can leave out caraway seed (or raisins). A plain soda bread is fine and classic. For classic, you wouldn't substitute anything for caraway or raisins. You'd just make it plain. http://food52.com/recipes/16529-peggy-s-authentic-irish-soda-bread-with-raisins

Traditional soda bread recipes have caraway seed OR raisins. As my grandmother explained it, "you can have sequins or patent leather but not both at the same time." And then a friend on this Hotline responded, "Unless you are Dorothy." :-)

Slainte, everyone. Gaelic (Irish) for "to your health."
 
mrslarkin March 17, 2014
Yum! I made some too -- 1 plain and 1 choco chip (really good!)
 
EmilyC March 17, 2014
Completely agree with Mrs. Larkin. I made soda bread yesterday with currants + rosemary, not traditional but yummy.
 
mrslarkin March 17, 2014
Yes you can leave them out. Caraway has a pretty distinctive flavor. I'm not sure there is a substitute.
 
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