Rosemary-Raisin Soda Bread and Guinness Cheddar Fondue

What is St Patrick’s Day if not an excuse to drink like a marauder? And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my twenty years of drinking is that you need a good base to soak up all the intoxicating toxins so that you don’t fall into a heap by 9 o’clock. This recipe is ideally suited for your pre-gaming Paddy’s Night party. The soda bread comes together very quickly, has no rising time, and is so good paired with the onions, beer, and cheese in the easy Irish fondue. I used a blend of Dubliner and Skellig Irish cheddar cheeses, which are a little sweet and a bit funky. Even if you aren’t headed out to the bars but strapping in for a night on the couch with the Gallagher clan, this dinner is exactly what you need on this magical March night.

Rosemary Raisin Soda Bread


Rosemary-Raisin Soda Bread and Chedar Guinness Fondue



For the Rosemary Raisin Soda Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 23 stalks of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 4/5 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup raisins

Cheddar Guinness Fondue

  • 1 lb Irish Dubliner cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 1/4 cups Irish stout (e.g., Guinness)


For the Rosemary Raisin Soda Bread

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in rosemary, raisins, and buttermilk. Form into a sticky ball of dough.
  3. Place dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a round loaf.
  4. Transfer dough to baking sheet and flatten slightly with the heel of your hand. Use a lightly floured knife to score the loaf deeply, without cutting through. Dust lightly with flour.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Cheddar Guinness Fondue

  1. In a large mixing bowl toss cheese with flour, set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in onions, until golden brown and soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add salt, mustard, and stout. Turn up the heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil.
  4. Decrease heat to medium-low. Stir in cheese a handful at a time, stirring continuously. When all is melty and incorporated, serve immediately with bread, steamed veggies, and apple slices.


Adapted from recipes by My Kitchen Affair and Chow.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.

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