4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
1/8 teaspoon cardamon or coriander (optional)
4 tablespoons (1/2 cube) butter or margarine
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
Combine all dry ingredients, add butter and cut with a pastry blender. Beat egg slightly and mix with buttermilk. Add to dry ingredients and stir until blended. Turn out on a floured board and knead until smooth. Divide dough in half and shape into a round loaf (2). Place each in an 8-inch cake or pie pan. Press down until dough fills the pan. With a sharp knife, cut crosses on tops of loaves about 1/2 inch deep in middle. Bake 375-degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
Omit cardamon or coriander and add 2 cups currants or raisins with 1 1/4 teaspoon caraway.
Combine 2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats with 1 cup buttermilk, let stand 2 hours, use 2 cups less flour.
Substitute 2 cups whole wheat flour.