Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins
America's Test Kitchen
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter
- 1 cup cake flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1⁄2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup raisins (optional) or 1 cup currants (optional)
- Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat oven to 400°.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray generously with vegetable oil spray.
- Whisk the flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together in a large bowl.
- Work 2 tablespoons of the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Stir in the buttermilk (and raisins, if using) with a fork just until the dough begins to come together.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured counter.
- Knead just until the dough becomes cohesive and bumpy; about 30 seconds (do not knead until smooth).
- Pat the dough into a 6-inch round about 2 inches thick.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Cut an X into the top of the loaf using a serrated knife or clean razor blade.
- Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 40 to 45 minutes.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and transfer to a wire rack.
- Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and brush over the top.
- Let the loaf cool for 1 hour.