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Maureen's Irish Soda Bread

I've been making this for over 35 years. It is so delicious, I wonder why I only make it once a year. Besides serving traditionally with corned beef and cabbage, it's great toasted and slathered with butter, or with an afternoon cup of tea. This is absolutely one of my very favorite quick breads.



Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2 large eggs

11/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons caraway seeds


Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray 9-inch round pie plate with nonstick spray.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl. With pastry blender, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form.

Beat eggs in a medium bowl until well beaten. Whisk in buttermilk until blended. Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients just until blended. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds until a soft dough forms. Do not overmix.

With floured hands, shape dough into a round (the dough will be sticky). Place in prepared pie plate. Place about 2 tablespoons of flour into a mesh sieve and sprinkle flour over the top of the dough. With the back of a fork, cut a deep cross into the dough. This will prevent the bread from cracking and give it a traditional look.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool on rack. Serve warm or toasted.


Makes about 12 servings

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