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St. Pat's Soda Bread

Soad Bread 2 1/2 c. raisins
5 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. butter
2 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 egg
Course sugar, plain or green

In a medium size bowl, soak raisins in water for 15 minutes; drain in a colander. Transfer the raisins onto paper towels and squeeze out additional liquid. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets and set aside.

In a large bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender. Hand mix the flour mixture until grainy. Stir in raisins. Add buttermilk and eggs and stir together until well moistened. Cut dough in half, then shape each half into 2 domes and place onto cookie sheets. With a serrated knife cut across the top twice to create an "X". Sprinkle tops of bread with course sugar.

Bake for 1 hour or until cake tester inserted in middle of bread comes out clean. Cover loaves with aluminum foil if they are getting too dark. Transfer to racks and allow to cool completely. Makes two loaves.

Note: This recipe can also be made in two 9" x 5" loaf pans. Generously grease each loaf pan.

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