Irish Soda Bread


5 Cups sifted all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 Cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 lb (1 stick) butter
2 1/2 Cups mixed light and dark raisins, soaked in water (or whisky if you’re feeling really Irish) for 15 to 20 minutes and drained
3 Tbsp Caraway Seeds
2 1/2 Cups buttermilk
1 large egg, slightly beaten

Yield: Makes 2 loaves


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter two 9 x 5-inch bread pans.

Stir together the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two dinner knives, and then proceed to mix very thoroughly with your hands until the mixture gets grainy. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds.

Add the buttermilk and egg to the flour mixture. Stir [with a wooden spoon or electric mixer] until well-moistened. Shape dough into 2 loaves and place in the pans.

Bake for 1 hour. Test with a toothpick for doneness; if the toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into the center of the loaf, it’s ready. Cool the soda bread in the pans for 3 to 5 minutes. Take the bread out of the loaf pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.