By Breana Pitts

HOLLISTON (CBS) – Among the historic villages of Holliston you’ll find Mudville, a neighborhood carved out in the 1800s by Irish immigrants. And within Mudville you’ll find Belfast-born baker David McGimpsey and his beloved Irish soda bread.

“I first saw my grandmother making soda bread in Donegal. That would have been in the early 60s. And I was fascinated by it,” McGimpsey said. “There was a lot of men in the house, and they worked the fields, and after the soda bread was put on the table it was devoured. It always amazed me how much bread these people ate.”

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McGimpsey, who immigrated to Boston in 1988, has crafted fresh loaves of Montgomery’s Irish Soda and Brown Bread for the last 10 years at the Holliston Superette.

This time of year, his Soda Bread is high in demand. He mixes up two varieties of flour and full fat buttermilk with sunflower and olive oil, sugar, salt, and the key ingredient in soda bread—baking soda.

“My grandmother was a Montgomery. I wanted to go back to my roots – what I first learned the first day of my apprenticeship – how to make soda bread and I wanted to return to that. It’s a process of turning and folding, turning and folding,” he explained to WBZ.

McGimpsey uses Sultanas, a variety of raisins, in his Soda Bread.

“People have said to me, ‘there’s no caraway in it?’ No there’s not!”

McGimpsey cuts the top of the bread in a crisscross before putting in the oven, which helps the bread burst wide open. The loaves bake for 35 minutes.

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Irish soda bread. (WBZ-TV)

“When you fill shelves in the morning and they’re empty at night, that’s where the satisfaction is. That people like the product, they like what you do.”

Montgomery suggests toasting up the bread with strawberry jam and a slice of sharp cheddar. Sometimes he fries it with olive oil, bacon, and eggs.

“I have a lot to be grateful to the United States for. If you work hard, you’ll make it here.”

McGimpsey’s breads and pastries are delivered to the following locations on Saturday mornings, but we’re told they sell out quickly.

Kiki’s Kwik-Mart, 236 Faneuil St., Brighton
Pemberton Farms Marketplace, 2225 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
Judith’s Kitchen, 1371 Washington St., West Newton
Marino’s Market & Deli, 1906 Centre St., West Roxbury
Holliston Superette, 777 Washington St., Holliston
AJay’s Market, 166 Walpole St, Norwood

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Disclaimer: The attached video was recorded pre-pandemic, before CDC guidelines on mask mandates and social distancing were announced

Breana Pitts