Irish Soda Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup sugar

½ cup butter or margarine

1½ cups raisins

1¼ cups buttermilk (about)

2 eggs slightly beaten

Heat oven to 400 degrees.In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar until well blended. With a pastry blender or two knives cut in the butter until coarsely crumbly.In a measuring cup combine eggs and buttermilk to equal 1frac12; cups; add to the dry ingredients, and stir to form a thick dough. Knead about 10 times lightly and place the dough in a round 8-inch pie plate. With a sharp knife cut an #147;x#148; in the top (the cross chases the fairies away).Bake about 45 minutes until light brown. The bread should have a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. When cool spread with jam and enjoy.Serves 16.For scones: After kneading the dough split it in half and roll out two, 8-inch circles. With a sharp knife cut each into eight triangular scones. Put scones on two cookie sheets and bake 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

  Bridget McGuinness’s recipe for Irish soda bread can be formed into a round loaf or cut into scones. BRIAN HILL/