Irish Soda Bread*
• 4 cups sifted flour
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt (Don't forget this! Once I did, and I can tell you it's important)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
• ¼ cup butter
• 1 to1¼ cups raisins (depending on how much you like raisins)
• 1 and 1/3 cups buttermilk
• 1 egg, unbeaten
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 egg yolk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9” cake pan.
Combine buttermilk, egg, and baking soda in a small bowl; beat with a fork or whisk until the yolk is broken. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, salt (don't forget!), and baking powder. Stir in caraway seeds.
With 2 knives, cut in the butter until it is like coarse cornmeal (???). Stir in raisins.
Pour buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until it is just moistened. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth. Shape into a ball. Place in pan. Cut a 4-inch X deep in the center. Brush with egg yolk (beat with a fork first).
Bake 1 hour 20 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes then turn onto rack.
*I always thought this recipe was from my father's mother, Grandma Mahon (nee Magarahan). I liked thinking of her baking it over an open fire in a thatched-roof cottage back in the old country. But then I was told that my mother actually got it from a women's magazine back in the 1960's. Maybe the truth lies someplace in between. Either way, it's good!