Irish Soda Bread

In my freshman year of college, I got really into cooking and baking, which had everything to do with having my own (shared) kitchen. Around St. Patrick's day, I wanted to do something seasonal and make Irish Soda Bread. I didn't grow up with a family recipe for Irish Soda Bread, but luckily one of my roommates did - this is her grandmother's recipe. I think it's great, so I have held onto it myself for many years.

Irish Soda Bread
1 egg, beaten
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
4 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins (I leave these out)
1 cup caraway seeds (I leave these out)
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp water

If needed, as a substitute for buttermilk, add 1 tsp lemon juice to a cup of milk.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the beaten egg with the buttermilk. Blend with flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and raisins (plus seeds). Cut in butter. Knead on floured board 25 times.

Shape dough into an 8” round in a large cast iron skillet or deep spring form pan (or a cookie sheet). Make an X on top. Whip the egg yolk with 2 tbsp of water and glaze the top of the dough.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

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