Preheat oven to
degrees F (190 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line
a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large
bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Cut the cold
butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture, with a pastry blender
or two knives, until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in the raisins. Make a well in the
center of the flour mixture and add most of the buttermilk. Using yours
hands, or a wooden spoon, mix (adding more buttermilk if necessary) until you
have a soft moist dough.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and
dough into a 7 inch (18 cm) round. Place
the round on your prepared
baking sheet and then, with a sharp knife, cut a 1/4 inch deep "X" across the
top of the bread.
for about 40 - 50 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into
the center of the bread comes out clean. You can also test that is fully baked
by tapping the bottom of the bread -
it should sound hollow. Remove from oven. This bread is wonderful when
served warm with butter. It also makes great toast.
Makes one seven
inch (18 cm) round raisin soda bread.