Periodically, I try to weed out some cookbooks from our ever-expanding collection, and Beard on Bread by James Beard is one that I’ve suggested that we get rid of because “we” (meaning “I”) never use it. The book is pretty shabby-looking, and the dust jacket is long gone. Beard on Bread, however, is one of the few cookbooks that belong to my husband. He has vigorously defended its place on our cookbook shelf several times over the years.
Every St. Patrick’s Day weekend, I’m always glad to concede that we should keep Beard on Bread forever, if only for the Irish Soda Bread recipe my husband uses to makes several loaves, some to keep and some to give away. I like the sweet kind of Irish bread, too, but this recipe calls for whole wheat flour and comes out looking lovely and rustic.
Originally published in 1973, Beard on Bread was reissued by Knopf in a softcover edition in 1995. Find James Beard’s Irish soda bread recipe here on the James Beard Foundation site, along with other recipes.
Beard on Bread