An incredible, authentic recipe of ancient Irish origin, Classic Buttermilk Irish Soda Bread is enjoyable throughout the day, served with butter, jam or honey alongside a cup of good Irish Breakfast Tea. Goes well with great cheeses, too.
- 3 Cups unbleached flour; plus more
- 1 Cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 Tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon caraway seeds; (optional)
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- 2 beaten eggs; (optional)
- 1 1/4 Cups buttermilk (to 2 Cups)
- 1 Cup raisins or mixed raisins and currants
- Plump raisins in hot water for 5 minutes.
- Combine unbleached flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon and caraway seeds.
- Cut butter into dry ingredients by hand or using paddle or hook attachment on mixer at slow speed. Add eggs and buttermilk to form a soft dough. Stir in raisins.
- Turn out onto floured work surface and gently knead 8 times, or so, to firm up the dough. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Shape into an 8- or 9-inch round.
- Score top with a knife to make cross. Dust with white flour or sprinkle with bran or oatmeal.
- Place in 9-inch cast-iron pan and bake (at 375 degrees F) until top is brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove and cool in pan on rack.
- Serve with good butter, jam, honey or marmalade.
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