Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

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 egg
1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Method

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. 

Variants: 

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. 

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