Irish Soda Bread from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

From All About Cooking, Food and Stuff

4 C all-purpose flour

¼ C sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

½  tsp All Spice* 

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold

2 C Dried Cranberries**

1 ½ scant C buttermilk

1 lrg egg

1 tsp baking soda

1 lrg egg yolk

1 Tbsp heavy cream

Heat oven to 350°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl,                                 whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder & all spice until well combined.

Using a pastry cutter or two knives in scissor fashion, cut in butter until the mixture feels                                      like coarse meal.  Stir in dried cranberries until evenly distributed.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and baking soda until well combined.  Pour                          buttermilk mixture into the flour-and-butter mixture all at once, and stir with a fork until all                                 the liquid is absorbed and the mixture begins to hold together, it should resemble a rough                                biscuit dough.  Using your hands, press the dough into a round, dome-shaped loaf about 8 inches                             in diameter.  Lift the loaf from the bowl, and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk and cream together.  With a pastry brush, brush the egg wash                           over the loaf.  With a sharp knife or razor, incise a cross, about ½ inch deep, into the top of                                the loaf.  Transfer to the oven.  Bake, rotating halfway through, until it is deep golden brown                               and a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center, about 70 minutes.  Remove                       from oven, and transfer bread from the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.

* The recipe actually calls for 2Tbsp of Caraway Seed.  I replaced the caraway seed with all spice,                            I didn't have caraway on hand and I thought the all spice would be a nice touch to the flavors of                           the bread.

**The recipe calls for 2 C raisins.  I replaced the raisins with dried cranberries, because I am not                              a big raisin fan.  I like the taste of dried cranberries as a substitute for things that call for raisins.

From All About Cooking, Food and Stuff

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