Who doesn't like a big old slab of Irish soda bead slathered in butter? The popular bread is even more popular around St. Patrick's Day, Irish or not.
The round loaf, often with raisins and caraway seeds, has been made in Ireland for centuries under different names. In earlier centuries when families had no oven but always had a hearth, yeast was used to raise the bread. When common household baking soda was introduced and added to the bread, it became known as Irish Soda Bread. In some regions of Ireland the bread is white; in others, brown.
Following is a basic, easy to make Irish Soda Bread recipe.
Mix four cups of flour in a large bowl with 3 Tablespoons of sugar, with 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
Cut in 6 Tablespoons of butter.
Add 1-1/2 cups raisins and caraway seeds
In a separate bowl, mix two eggs with 1-1/2 cup buttermilk.*
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Form the mixture into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Some like to mark an X or several slits across the top. You can also brush on mixed egg yolk before baking to give the top a sheen.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour and 20 minutes.
(*who happens to have buttermilk in the house? you can "make" buttermilk but adding 2 tablespoons of lemonade or orange juice to milk.)