IRISH SODA BREAD
- 2 1/2 cups (12 3/8 ounces) White Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 1/4 cups (5 7/8 ounces) Bread Flour
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup (3 ounces) raisins
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 1/3 cups (11 3/4 ounces) buttermilk
- 1 large egg
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and raisins. Using a mixer, a pastry fork or blender, or your fingers, cut in the butter until it's evenly distributed and no large chunks remain.
In a separate bowl (or in a measuring cup) whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. The dough will be stiff; if it's too crumbly to squeeze together, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk.
Knead the dough a couple of times to make sure it's holding together, then shape it into a ball.
Flatten the ball slightly, and place the loaf in a lightly greased 8- or 9-inch round cake pan, or in a cast iron pan; it won't spread much, so the pan doesn't have to be large.
Use a sharp knife to cut a 1/2-inch deep cross, extending all the way to the edges, atop the loaf.
Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until it's golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the bread from the oven, and brush the top with melted butter, if desired.