This classic Irish soda bread with raisins is hearty and tender, slightly sweet and perfect with corn beef or Irish stew. For that matter I love it slathered with butter, too!
4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/4 c packed brown sugar (optional)
4 T unsalted butter that is very cold
1 c raisins (I used golden raisins) Make sure they are nice and plump.
2 –3 t caraway seeds (optional)
2 c buttermilk
1 large egg
2 T molasses (not blackstrap)
1 T heavy cream or half and half
1 T rolled oats / raw sugar
If you have a pizza or baking stone, use it. If not a cast iron skillet or a heavy baking sheet will work, too.
With oven rack in the middle of oven, preheat oven to 425 with your choice of cook ware inside it.
Combine flour, baking soda , salt and brown sugar (if using) in a large bowl. Stir in the raisins and caraway seeds, if using.
Form a well in the middle and pour in the buttermilk, egg and molasses. Stir with a wooden spoon until mixture comes together. Using floured hands, turn out onto a floured surface. Knead just a bit to form into an 8″ round. Place on parchment paper to transfer to oven
Before you transfer, using a sharp knife, slash a deep X across the top and then brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with oats and sugar.
Transfer to oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when thumped.
Serve hot or warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges or torn into chunks.
From: A Real American Breakfast
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