Irish Soda Bread
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 1/4 cups dark raisins
- 1 tablespoon caraway seed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F; line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and baking soda; set aside.
Fit a food processor with the metal blade, and process the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until just combined, about 5 seconds; add butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, another 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in raisins and caraway; make a well in the center of the dough and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Combine, with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until a wet dough forms; divide in two equal portions.
On a floured work surface, form each portion into a round loaf, about 5 inches in diameter (actually it will be a gloppy mess). Place each round on the prepared baking sheet, leaving several inches between loaves and sides of pan to allow for spreading. Using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter, cut each round into 5 equal wedges (known as scoring); sprinkle with flour to give the loaves a “rustic” look.
Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 degrees F and continue baking until loaves are golden brown on the top and bottom, about 15 to 20 minutes more. A toothpick inserted should come out clean; cool on wire racks and serve either warm or room temperature.