Irish Soda Bread

Whether or not you're Irish, this classic quick bread recipe brings great taste into your kitchen.

Irish Soda Bread st. patrick irishYield: Makes 1 loaf (14 slices)

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 1/2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup raisins, if desired
3/4 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 375 F. Grease cookie sheet.

Cut butter into flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in raisins and just enough buttermilk so dough leaves side of bowl.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Shape into round loaf, about 6 1/2 inches in diameter. Place on cookie sheet. Cut an X shape about 1/2 inch deep through loaf with floured knife.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with butter or margarine, softened, if desired.

Why the "X" on top of Irish soda bread?
Legend tells us that this cross is meant to scare away evil spirits. Spooky!

Source: Gold Medal Flour, a Reg. TM of General Mills, Inc.

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