Mom's Irish Soda Bread with Whipped Cinnamon Honey Spread

It's finally St. Patrick's Day, which means corned beef, red potatoes, cabbage, and of course Irish soda bread!  This is one family recipe I can always count on when March 17th rounds the corner each year.  A running debate stays constant in our house over which Irish soda bread is best, the plain original kind or our modern version with raisins.  I like the raisins because it adds a simply sweet taste to the warm bread, and if you add butter and Cloister Honey whipped cinnamon, its simply delectable.  So, in case you're looking for a fun activity this St. Paddy's Day, make Irish soda bread at your house to bring you and yours the luck of the Irish this year! 

Makes two loaves:

  • 4 cups unsifted flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg, beaten

Blend together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles course meal.  Add raisins, buttermilk and egg; stir until blended.  Knead on floured board until smooth, about 1 minute.  Shape dough into 2 balls and place in 2 greased 8 inch round cake pans.  Flatten to fill pans.  Cut a deep cross in top of each loaf.  Bake at 375-degrees about 40 minutes or until done.  Full baked bread, when cooled, can be frozen in moisture proof wrappings and stored 3 - 6 months.  HINT:  A loaf is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom or sides.  It should look well risen and nicely browned.  For another test, pierce the loaf with a metal tester and immediately touch the end of the tester to your wrist.  It should be almost hot enough to burn you - but it won't.  There should be no uncooked dough or moisture on the tester.

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