Irish Spotted Dog Soda Bread
?3 cup all-purpose flour
plus extra for dusting
bicarbonate of soda
?3 cup golden raisins or dried currants
?3 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 425°F
Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.
Stir in the sugar and dried fruit.
In a separate bowl, beat together the egg and buttermilk.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in most of the buttermilk mixture (leave about a quarter cup to mix in as you go along)
Using one hand, bring the flour and liquid together moving your hand in circles around the bowl, adding a little more of the buttermilk mixture, if necessary.
Don't knead the mixture or it will become too heavy. (The dough should be soft, but not too wet and sticky.)
Once it comes together, turn onto a floured work surface and bring together a little more.
Pat the dough into a round, about 2½ inches in height, and cut a deep cross in it, from one side of the loaf to the other.
Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 400°F and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, until the bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Handle the dough as if it were flaming hot. The less handled the better your results will be.