Irish Soda Bread

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and that means it’s time for Irish soda bread. This recipe came from a friend of my Mom’s, but it tastes very much like the Irish bread my grandmother used to make. I think the key is not to add too much flour while kneading; the dough will be fairly sticky at the end.

I brought the bread to work and forgot to snap a picture. It came out a little dry this time, I think I over baked it a little. There’s more buttermilk in the refrigerator, so I’ll see if I have time for another loaf.

4 c. flour
3 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
3/4 t baking soda
6 T butter
1 1/2 c. raisins
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 2 quart round casserole dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients (flour through baking soda). With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in raisins.

In a small bowl, beat eggs slightly. Remove 1 T egg and reserve. Stir buttermilk into remaining egg and then stir into flour mixture just until flour is moistened. The dough will be sticky.

Turn dough onto a floured surface, and with floured hands, knead about 10 strokes to mix thoroughly. Shape into a ball, and place in casserole dish. With a sharp knife, cut a cross in the top and brush dough with reserved egg.

Bake about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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