Irish Soda Bread

Today I have a simple Irish recipe, perfect to make for St Patrick's day! Dating back to 1840, Irish Soda Bread is a traditional product of a poor country; it was made with only the most basic of ingredients: flour, baking soda, milk, and salt. In the South of Ireland, the bread is shaped and baked as a round loaf with a cross marked on top, but in the North, it is flattened into a round disc and divided into four equal triangular shapes and then cooked on a flat griddle. Today, it is a popular bread in the U.S. and Ireland alike because of how quickly it can be made.

Here is Kit's Recipe:

Irish Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway

yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

 5 cups all purpose flour

 1 cup sugar

 1 tablespoon baking powder

 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

 1 teaspoon baking soda

 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature

 2 1/2 cups raisins

 3 tablespoons caraway seeds

 2 1/2 cups buttermilk

 1 large egg

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter heavy ovenproof 10- to 12-inch-diameter skillet with 2- to 2 1/2-inch-high sides. Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add butter; using fingertips, rub in until coarse crumbs form. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Whisk buttermilk and egg in medium bowl to blend. Add to dough; using wooden spoon, stir just until well incorporated (dough will be very sticky). Transfer dough to prepared skillet; smooth top, mounding slightly in center. Using small sharp knife dipped into flour, cut 1-inch-deep X in top center of dough. Bake until bread is cooked through and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool bread in skillet 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in foil; store at room temperature.)