Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread, arthur schwartz, the three tomatoesThis is a recipe from my days at the New York Daily News. It was one of our most popular recipes, requested year after year.

Makes one loaf, serves 6-8

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  • 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour (measure by spooning flour into a measuring cup and leveling off)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 3 tablespoons butter or solid white shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 2/3 cup raisins, dark or golden, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8- or 9-inch round layer pan.

 In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Stir to mix.

 Add the butter or shortening and cut into the flour mixture with 2 knives or a pastry blender, until the fat is in fine pieces.

 Make a well in center of the flour mixture. Pour in the buttermilk and add raisins. Mix lightly.

 Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently a few times. Shape into a 5-inch round loaf and place in prepared pan.

 Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut dough crosswise into quarters, about 1/3 of the way through. Brush top surface with melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar mixed with the cinnamon.

 Bake in the preheated 375-degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes until golden brown. 

 Note: For better nutrition and good taste appeal stir in 2 tablespoons wheat germ or 2 tablespoons rolled oats with the flour.

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