These delectable buns give a nod to Irish soda bread. They have all the traditional ingredients (baking soda, raisins, and buttermilk), but instead of baking one round, shape the dough into individual rolls. Following the practice of Irish bakers, the buns are arranged on floury baking sheets, sprinkled with more flour, and marked with a cross, which, according to lore, will “let the devil out.”
|All-purpose flour (for sprinkling)|
|1⅓||cups all-purpose flour|
|⅔||cup whole-wheat flour|
|1¼||teaspoons baking soda|
|3||tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut up|
|1½||teaspoons caraway seed|
|¾||cup buttermilk, or more if needed|
1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle the paper with all-purpose flour.
2. In a bowl, whisk the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. With your fingers or two blunt knives, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the raisins and caraway seed. Add the buttermilk and stir with a fork until the mixture holds together. If necessary, add more buttermilk,
1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead gently until it is smooth. Cut the dough into 8 pieces and shape each into a ball. Place the balls on the baking sheet 1½ inches apart. Dust lightly with all-purpose flour. With a small sharp knife, cut an “X” on top of each ball.
4. Bake the buns for 25 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm.