Irish soda bread has been a staple of the Irish diet since the 1840's. Bicarbonate of soda was introduced to Ireland in the late 1830's, so, instead of using yeast as a leavening agent, they began using bread soda as an alternative. There are several theories as to the significance of the cross in soda bread. Some believe that the cross was placed in the bread to ward off evil. It is more likely that the cross is used to help with the cooking of the bread or to serve as a guideline for even slices into quarters.Hogan's Brown Irish Soda Bread mix comes straight from Ireland. A simple recipe just got even easier - just add water, shape, and bake. Soda Bread is used as an accompaniment to any meal. Great for breakfast with lots of butter, or with jam and honey, or just to soak up a good fried breakfast. Great with soup, for sandwiches (try with salmon!), or simply to mop up your gravy at dinner.