Irish Soda Bread

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The original Irish soda bread contained only flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and salt.  There are many other variations, but this is the basic recipe, with the addition of a little caraway seed.

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk

Procedure

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Mix flour, caraway seeds, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Gradually add the buttermilk until the dough is moistened throughout and starts to come together.  Turn out onto a floured board and knead until dough holds together in a ball, about 1 minute.  Form the dough into a disk about 6 inches in diameter and 2 inches thick.  Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet.  With a razor blade or a very sharp knife, cut an X across the top of the bread to a depth of about 1 inch and extending almost to the edges.  Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 30 to 35 minutes.  Put bread on a rack and cool.