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Fruited Soda Bread

4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold margarine or butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup diced dried fruits combination chopped (dried apricots, cranberries,
cherries, raisins etc)
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (approx)
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg

In a large bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Cut
in cold butter or margarine with pastry blender or rub in with
fingers to coarse peas size crumbs. Combine buttermilk, baking soda
and egg. Stir into flour mixture with large fork to moisten (as
one would do for muffins). Turn out onto floured surface and knead
in some extra flour until a smooth ball. With a sharp knife cut
into two equal parts. Grease and flour two 8 inch round cake pans.
Place each dough half into the pan and pat and shape into a smooth
ball. Cut or slash top decoratively. Brush tops with an egg wash
(1 egg with a tsp of water). Bake in a hot oven 375F about 40
minutes or tested done and golden. Cool on racks briefly and
carefully remove to cool completely May be frozen. Cut into wedges
(as for scones) or into slices. Serve with plenty of butter and
jam if desired.

Note: I like to use for color fruit combinations: raisins, cherries
and apricots. Also one may prepare one large loaf by placing dough
in a well greased and floured 1 1/2 qt casserole dish and bake 50
to 60 minutes or tested done.


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