Irish Soda Bread

The batter for this unadulterated soda bread features buttermilk for a special richness.

Ingredients
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. cake flour
  • 2 Tbl. sugar
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbl. unsalted butter, cold
  • plus 1 Tbl. melted butter for brushing loaf
  • 1¾ c. buttermilk
  • grated zest of 1 orange, opt.
  • ¾ c. raisins, opt.
Instructions
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Cut 2 Tablespoons of cold butter into chunks and add to the flour mixture. Using your clean hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it is completely incorporated. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add 1½ cups of the buttermilk that has been mixed with the orange zest. Use a fork to work the ingredients together. Mix in the raisins. Add up to another ¼ cup of buttermilk, adding 1 Tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms.
  2. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat together to form a 6” round. Place dough into an 8” inch (or larger) cast-iron skillet. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet you can use a baking sheet, but the outside won’t get as crispy. Use a sharp knife and cut an “x” into the top of the loaf, about 5-inches long and ¾-inch deep. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with 1 Tablespoon of melted butter. Cool for a few minutes, slice and serve. Best if eaten on the day it is made.

source allrecipes

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