Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins
This is a basic soda bread, enriched with an egg and some extra sugar, which gives a nice crisp crust. The name is probably a riff on "spotted dick," a steamed pudding also dotted with raisins. Adapted from _Forgetten Skills of Cooking_ by Dorina Allen, reprinted at Serious Eats by Caroline Russock. http://bit.ly/ci85uu
- 3 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2⁄3 cup golden raisins (or more if you'd like) or 2⁄3 cup seedless raisin (or more if you'd like)
- 1 large egg
- 1 1⁄4-1 1⁄2 cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add raisins and toss well. Form a well.
- Break an egg in a 2-cup glass measuring cup and beat lightly. Add buttermilk to bring the volume up to 1 1/2 cups. Pour into the well in the flour. Using one hand, with the fingers open and stiff, mix the flour into the liquid. The dough should be soft, but not very sticky. DO NOT overwork the dough!
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Wash and thoroughly dry your hands; with floured hands, knead bread two or three times to clean up any shaggy edges. Pat into a round about 2" thick. Transfer to a floured baking sheet. Cut a deep cross in the top of the round, allowing the ends of the cuts to drop into the sides of the loaf. Prick the triangles thus formed several times with the tip of the knife.
- Place loaf in oven and reduce heat to 400°F Bake 35-40 minutes, until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when thumped. Serve in thick slices with butter and jam, or with cheddar cheese.