With a name like Matt Ryan, you guessed correctly, I'm Irish. My family has some pretty cool St. Patrick's Day recipes for the essentials.

Mama Ryan makes two different kinds of soda bread. One is traditional, but the other is a family recipe that goes back a ways. The key is brown butter. At the risk of being disowned from my family, here's the recipe.

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 egg white, beaten

The honey butter is the key!

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 shakes of ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. Melt the butter in small saucepan over medium heat until melted and golden brown (stir  3 to 4 minutes.) Remove the pan from heat to cool.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the brown butter and buttermilk until the flour mixture is moistened and comes together.

4. Turn the dough out onto a surface with lots of flour. Sprinkle the raisins on top and knead them gently into the dough until the dough comes together. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into ball, and lightly flatten each into 6-inch round. Place the rounds on ungreased baking sheet. Use a knife to cut a 1/2-inch deep "X" in the top of each round of dough. Brush the tops with the egg wash.

5. Bake the loaves until they turn deep golden brown (usually about 40 to 45 minutes.)

Making the honey butter is simple. Mix the butter with honey and cinnamon in a small bowl until blended. Serve with the bread.

If you try the recipe out, let me know how you like it!