Irish Caraway Raisin Bread as made by Corinne MacAuley’s Irish grandmother. Photo courtesy of Corinne MacAuley

“During these tough times I have been reminiscing memories of my Irish grandmother.

“She lived to be in her 90s and came to the States from Ireland when she was 17. Got a job in a women’s penitentiary as a female prison guard. Loved it here and never looked back to her farm in Ireland.

“She wasn’t your typical grandmother, but one who smoked unfiltered cigarettes and collected the little cards that came with them to later redeem for prizes. Loved the sun and used to tell me that her goal was to merge together her freckles and tan. Known to have a cocktail or two and (for) being the life of any party.

“What I remember most about her was her funny spirit and her Irish bread. Dad, who was so reserved and never got excited about anything, would come home with two loaves and gleefully announce, ‘I have Grandma’s Irish bread,’ with a smile. Mom would cut slices and toast them, and we would slather butter all over our Irish bread. Years later, I often wondered where that recipe was.

“Mom was later moving and giving away a stack of cookbooks. I salvaged one and, in later years, when I went to read the cookbook, the Irish bread recipe slipped out. There on a piece of paper in my dad’s perfect penmanship was the Irish bread recipe!

“This is the best recipe you will make and eat. Thanks to my Irish spirited grandmother, you too will have a smile.”

— CORINNE MACAULEY, Old Orchard Beach



To flour the raisins, mix them with just a teaspoon or so of flour.

2 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, chilled

1 egg

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 cup raisins, floured

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a loaf pan, set aside.

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the butter, and crumble it with your fingertips for uneven, pea-sized lumps. Beat the egg, sour cream and milk together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until a dough forms. Add the floured raisins and caraway seeds. Mix well. Put the dough into the prepared pan.

Bake for 50 minutes. Let cool somewhat before you slice the loaf.

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