Irish Soda Bread with Caraway Seeds
Makes 2 large or 3 medium loaves
4c AP flour plus more for board
4 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
6 tbs cold butter
2-4 tbs caraway seeds depending on how "seedy" you like it!
1 1/2c raisins
Preheat oven to 375. Butter a cookie sheet or line with parchment. In a food processor or a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
Cut the butter into small cubes, and either process in or use a pastry cutter or two knives, or "rub" in between fingertips until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
Toss in raisins until coated. Add caraway seeds and toss.
Pour in all the buttermilk at once into a well in the center. Using a wooden spoon, or one hand in a claw shape, briskly stir together until flour is all incorporated but no more than that! Otherwise it will toughen the dough.
Divide in 2 or 3 balls, adding a tiny bit of flour as needed to board or hands, and press ball flat into a disc about an 1" to 1 1/2" thick depending on size of loaf. Cut a cross with a large sharp knife into the top of each loaf, going over cuts twice if necessary. This serves a dual purpose of blessing the bread and also "letting the fairies out!"
Space well on cookie sheet, and bake for 28-35 min depending on loaf sizes. Should be a rich golden brown and sound hollow when you knock on the bottom of a loaf. Allow to cool thoroughly on a cooling rack before slicing. Spread with Kerrygold and enjoy!