Irish Soda Bread
4 -4 1⁄2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons butter (softened)
1 cup berries (dry)
1⁄2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 3⁄4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
Work the butter into the flour mixture using either your fingers or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the dried fruit.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the beaten egg and the buttermilk to the well and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is too stiff to stir.
Turn mixture onto a floured surface and gently knead until it forms a rough ball. Do not over-knead. Shape into a round ball.
Place in a lightly greased cast iron pan and place the dough into the pan. Using a serrated knife, score the top of the dough with a deep X shape. The scoring of the bread with an X allows the heat to get into the center of the dough and thoroughly cook the bread.
Bake 35-40 minutes until the top of the bread is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the pan. Irish soda bread is best served immediately or within a day or two. We served ours with a marscapone cheese with smashed fresh blueberries.
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