6 tablespoons unsalted butter (see note)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
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1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup sugar
1½ cups dried currants
1¾ cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, well beaten, room temperature
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter and set aside. Smear another 2 tablespoons butter over bottom and sides of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Cut a piece of wax paper to fit the bottom and coat lightly with cooking spray.
Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and sugar into a large bowl. Add currants and toss well, set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together buttermilk, eggs and melted butter. Add to dry ingredients and mix just until ingredients are well combined. Spoon batter into skillet. Dot top with 1 to 2 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces, sprinkle with sugar and make a cross in the top with your finger. Bake 60 minutes. Cool in skillet 15 minutes. Best served warm with butter and a cup of tea.
Cook's notes: Kerrygold Irish butter recommended. This also can be baked in two, 8-inch loaf pans. Reduce baking time to about 45 minutes.