Irish Soda Bread

Makes 2 loaves

  • 4 cups unsifted regular all purpose flour (or use 2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 cups regular flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp soda
  • ¼ cup sugar (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom or coriander (optional)
  • ¼ cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine
  • 2 cups currants or raisins (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¾ cup buttermilk (or regular milk plus 5 tsp vinegar)

Combine in a large bowl the flour, salt, baking powder, soda, sugar, and spice, if used. Add butter or margarine, and cut in with a pastry blender or knives until crumbly. Mix in currants, if used. Beat eggs slightly and mix with buttermilk; add to dry ingredients and stir until blended. Turn out on a floured board and knead until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Divide dough in half, and shape each into a round loaf; place each loaf in an 8-inch cake or pie pan. Press down until dough fill the pans. With a sharp knife, cut crosses on the tops of the loaves, about ½ inch deep in the middle. Bake in a 375°F oven for 35–40 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

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