Irish Soda Bread (The Vegetarian Epicure)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for sprinkling
1 cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 cup raisins
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 ½ cups buttermilk or plain yogurt
milk for brushing the bread before baking

Preheat oven to 350° and butter a 1 ½ quart round baking dish (about 8 inches in diameter). In a large bowl whisk together white flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add butter and toss to coat with flour. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add raisins and caraway seeds and toss until coated. Add buttermilk or yogurt and stir until dough is moistened evenly. On a floured surface, knead dough 1 min., sprinkling lightly with additional flour to prevent sticking. Shape dough into a ball and put in baking dish. With a sharp knife cut a shallow X into the top of loaf and brush loaf with milk. Bake in center of oven, 55-60 min., or until golden brown. Turn out onto rack and cool completely before slicing.


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