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Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread

A favorite among the Irish as a compliment to a splendid St. Patrick's Day meal.  But we love it anytime, even for breakfast with coffee or tea!

IRISH SODA BREAD
    by Dolce Vita Baskets

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter softened
3 eggs
1 ½ cups of buttermilk
1 cup of raisins

Combine 2 beaten eggs, buttermilk and raisins in a medium bowl and soak for several minutes.  In another large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar and salt.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture.  Stir just until moistened.  On a floured surface, knead gently for 12 strokes then separate into two parts.  Place each section of the dough on a greased baking sheet and shape into two 6-inch loaves.  Cut a 4 inch cross ¼ inch deep on the top of each and brush with 1 beaten egg.

Bake in a 375° oven about 35 minutes or until golden.  Cool on rack.  Wrap in wax paper and serve the next day!