Irish Soda Bread with Raisins
This seasonal favorite can be whipped up in a few minutes. The raisins add a nice hit of sweetness, but sometimes I leave them out and make one large loaf that is perfect for slicing and toasting and dipping into over-medium fried eggs. A large loaf will need to bake for about 45 minutes at 375° but keep an eye on it.
Course: Bread
Author: The FarmGirl Cooks
Ingredients
  • 4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup raisins
  • 2 cups buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Stir in raisins and toss to coat with flour. Add buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the dough comes together in a shaggy mass. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it all together a few times, picking up any pieces of dough that fall off and sticking them back onto the ball. Don't worry --- it will not be a perfectly smooth dough.
  2. Shape the ball into a 1 1/2" - 2" high round. Cut into 8 or 10 pieces (like a pie) and quickly but gently shape each piece into balls. Again, they will NOT be perfect. It's OK! Arrange them evenly spaced on a parchment lined baking sheet and, using a sharp thin-bladed knife, cut a 1/4"-deep cross into each ball of dough. Why? Because the bread will expand and split wherever the crust is the weakest. If you slice the tops, that's where it will split.
  3. Bake the buns in a preheated 375° oven for about 30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Let cool on pan on wire rack. Believe it or not, this bread is best when not served hot out of the oven. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for a several days.