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Raisin Soda Bread

 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or lightly butter your baking sheet).

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, using 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. With a wooden spoon or spatula (or your hands), mix (adding more buttermilk if necessary) until you have a soft moist dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and gently knead the 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 (.5 cm) deep "X" in the center of the bread.

Bake 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 and/or jam. It also makes great toast.

Makes one seven inch (18 cm) round raisin soda bread.

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Raisin Soda Bread:

3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour (or 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour)

2 - 4 tablespoons (25 - 50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda

1 teaspoon (5 grams) salt

4 tablespoons (55 grams) cold unsalted butter

1/2 cup (80 grams) dark (Thompson) raisins

1 1/3 - 1 1/2 cups (320 - 360 ml) buttermilk