Incidentally, Irish soda bread with raisins is called Spotted Dog.
Not Quite Irish Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all purpose flour (or 3, with 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tbsp. sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp ground mahlab or whole caraway seeds
2 cups buttermilk
Hold back 1/2 cup flour. Blend the rest of the dry ingredients. Pour in buttermilk. Mix quickly with a fork and then your fingers. Turn onto a floured surface and knead by hand just until it holds together and is no longer sticky, 1-2 minutes. Add the extra 1/2 cup flour as needed to flour your hands and prevent sticking. Place the ball of dough on a baking sheet and press to flatten the top. Slash with a knife, cutting about 1 inch deep. I find that if I do not slash deep enough, the centre of the bread may be uncooked. Bake at 425F for 35-40 minutes. When cooked, the bread will be quite brown and a good tap on its bottom will sound hollow. You bad bad soda bread...