4 cups ﬂour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup raisins
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°. Sift together the ﬂour, sugar, salt, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.
Using a pastry cutter or two knives, work butter into ﬂour mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then stir in raisins.
Make a well in the center of the ﬂour mixture. Add beaten egg and buttermilk to well and mix in with a wooden spoon
until dough is too stiff to stir. Dust hands with a little ﬂour, then gently knead dough in the bowl just long enough to
form a rough ball. If the dough is too sticky to work with, sprinkle in a little more ﬂour. Do not over-knead!
Transfer dough to a lightly ﬂoured surface and shape into a round loaf.
Transfer dough to a large, lightly greased cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet.
Using a serrated knife, score top of dough about 1/2 deep in an X shape. Transfer to oven and bake until bread
is golden and bottom sounds hollow when tapped with a knife, about 35-45 minutes. Check for doneness also by
inserting a long, thin skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, its done.
If the top is getting too dark while baking, tent the bread with some aluminum foil.
If you use a cast iron skillet to cook the bread in the oven, be very careful when you take the pan out.
Its easy to forget that the handle is extremely hot. Cool the handle with an ice cube, or put a pot holder over it.
Transfer bread to a rack to let cool brieﬂy. Serve bread warm, at room temperature, or sliced and toasted.