This delicious recipe for traditional Irish Soda Bread will have you wanting to kick up your heels and dance an Irish jig!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Prepare your baking pan. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a Silpat OR use a greased 9-10 inch cake pan or pie plate OR use a seasoned 10-12 inch cast iron skillet.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or 2 table knives. You can even use your fingers if you prefer. You want a coarse dough with a crumb-like texture.
Stir in the raisins.
In a separate bowl, eat the egg slightly. Whisk in the buttermilk.
Mix the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. You want to gently mix without overmixing. You can turn the dough out onto a board and use your hands for mixing if that's easier once the dough stiffens up a bit, but you don't really want to knead it the way you would with yeast bread.
If the dough is too sticky, you can add more flour, a bit at a time until it comes together.
Form the dough into a round loaf. Place in your baking pan. Score an X into the top of the loaf to allow for even baking in the middle.
Bake for 45 minutes until the bread is golden in color and the center is baked through. When you give the loaf a tap, it should sound hollow inside. I like to check on the loaf about halfway through baking to ensure that it's not browning too quickly. If it is, I cover the top loosely with a piece of foil.
This bread tends to go stale fairly quickly because of its texture. Serve warm from the oven or within a couple of days. If you have leftovers, freeze for future use.