This simple recipe yields a delicious, homemade loaf that's sure to impress your friends and family. Whether you're celebrating with a big Irish feast or just looking for a tasty snack, this bread is sure to hit the spot. So grab your apron and get ready to bake up a storm!
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture. Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- If using raisins, add them to the flour mixture and stir until evenly distributed.
- Pour the buttermilk into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it gently for 1-2 minutes until it comes together in a smooth ball.
- Place the dough on a lightly greased baking sheet and use a sharp knife to score a deep cross into the top of the dough.
- Bake the bread for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the bread to cool for 10-15 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve the Irish soda bread warm or at room temperature, with a generous spread of butter or your favorite jam.