Baking soda, known as bread soda in Ireland, gives quick breads their rising power when mixed with an acid such as sour milk or vinegar. This down and dirty alternative to yeast allows you to mix up, bake and enjoy a piping hot, homemade loaf of soda bread in less than one hour.
2¼ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup (one half stick) cold butter
¾ cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup golden or dark raisins
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
In large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut butter into small pieces and cut into dry ingredients until crumbly. Add milk, vinegar and egg to separate small bowl. Mix well, then add all at once to dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed in. Add golden raisins and caraway seeds and mix in gently.
Lightly flour your hands. Shape batter into a slightly domed round and place on baking sheet. Dip a sharp knife in some flour and cut a cross in the top of the bread. Do not cut all the way through. Place in oven and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown.