O'Brien's Irish Soda Bread

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Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Sift flour salt, sugar, powder and soda together. Cut butter in with a knife or pastry cutter until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add beaten eggs to dry mixture and then raisins, cut in as before. Mix in buttermilk and stir gently to form a soft dough. Flour hands and turn dough out on floured board to knead gently into a ball. Shape into a 7 inch or so round thick cake. Place into glass pie plate. Cut 1 1/4 inch deep cross, called a farl, into the top. Bake for about 1 1/4 hours or until center of cross is lightly browned. Remove to wire rack, cool 15 minutes and then slice thickly and serve with plenty of butter, jam and hot tea!

Placing a towel over bread after it comes from the oven will keep crust soft.

For a real Irish touch, sprinkle caraway seed in the dough before cooking.

Yields 1 loaf.

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