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Irish Soda Bread
To make one 8: round loaf

1 tbs. butter, softened
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425. With a pastry brush coat a baking sheet
evenly with the tablespoon of softened butter. Sift the flour,
soda and salt together into a deep mixing bowl. Gradually add 1
cup of the buttermilk, beating constantly with a large spoon until
the dough is firm enough to be gathered into a ball . If the dough
crumbles, beat up to 1/2 cup more buttermilk into it by the tablespoon
until the particles adhere.

Place the dough on a lightly floured board and pat and shape it
into a flat circular loaf about 8" in diameter and 1 1/2 " thick.
Set he loaf on the baking sheet. Then with the tip of a small
knife cut a 1/2" deep X into the dough,dividing the top of the loaf
into quarters.

Bake the brad int the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes or
until the top is golden brown.

There are a couple of variations on this. You can add 1 cup currants
or raisins with the flour. Also you can sprinkle the top of the
loaf with caraway seeds.


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