by Caitlin Saniga
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
Using your (clean) fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then add in the raisins and caraway seeds.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the beaten egg and buttermilk to the well and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is too stiff to stir. Dust your hands with a little flour, then gently knead the dough in the bowl just long enough to form a rough ball. If the dough is too sticky to work with, add a little more flour. Don’t overknead or the dough will be tough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a round loaf. The dough will be a little sticky, and quite shaggy. You want to work it just enough so that the flour is just moistened and the dough just barely comes together.
Transfer the dough to a large, lightly greased cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet. Use a serrated knife to score the top of the dough about an inch and a half deep in an “X” shape. The purpose of the scoring is to help heat get into the center of the dough while it cooks. Place in the oven and bake until bread is golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 40-45 minutes. If the top of the loaf starts to brown, tent with foil. Check for doneness also by inserting a long, thin skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
Remove the pan from oven, let the bread sit in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool briefly. Serve the bread warm, at room temperature, or sliced and toasted. Store in a large, zip-top bag for up to 1 week.
Makes 1 loaf.
Recipe adapted from: Simply Recipes