Modern Irish Soda Bread


4 cups self rising flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 egg
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg yolk (optional)


Mix the flour, soda, and sugar. But in butter until mixture looks like coarse meal. Combine the buttermilk and egg and stir into the flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Add extra milk if necessary for mixture to hold together. Knead on a floured board until smooth. Place in a 9 inch cake pan or a 9 inch cast iron skillet which has been well greased. Cut a cross pattern into the top of the dough. Brush with the egg yolk and bake in a 375 deg oven about 50 minutes to an hour or until deeply brown. Cool in pan. Slice and serve warm with lots of butter