Preheat oven to 375°F Lightly grease a large baking sheet with butter or spray.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, softened butter, and raisins and/or caraway if using. In a bowl or mixing cup, lightly beat together 1 cup buttermilk with egg. Stir into dry ingredients. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. (Alternately, combine all ingredients in a stand mixer with a dough hook. Run on low until combined, then on high for 2-3 minutes until kneaded.).
Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Dust top with a tiny pinch of flour, then use a sharp knife or baker's coupe to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 30 to 50 minutes. You may brush the loaf with the butter mixture several more times while it bakes, if you like.