Irish Soda Bread

irish soda bread in a cast-iron skillet

Some folks insist that traditional Irish soda bread contains only flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and salt. Others like to add butter, sugar, oats, raisins, or caraway seeds. But it really just depends on what you like best. If you didn’t grow up eating soda bread, give it a try. This hearty version with butter, raisins, and a pinch of sugar is satisfying and comes together in a snap.

Irish Soda Bread
Makes 1 (12-inch) loaf
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, divided
  2. 5 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 1/2 cups raisins
  8. 2 1/3 cups buttermilk
  9. 1 large egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, and place skillet in oven to melt butter.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut in remaining ½ cup butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in raisins.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Gradually stir into flour mixture just until mixture is moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. This bread is best served warm and the day it’s made.
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