4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 c raisins or dried figs, diced (optional)
1-3/4 c buttermilk
1 T buttermilk, for brushing
Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together. Stir in the optional raisins or dried figs. Add the buttermilk and mix until the dough just holds together. The dough will be soft and sticky. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead for a few minutes or until you have a smooth dough. Shape into a round loaf, and place on an oiled parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush top with 1 T of buttermilk, and score as shown, if desired. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Tap the bottom of the loaf; if it sounds hollow, it is cooked all the way through. Let cool on a wire rack. Makes one 1 lb loaf.
Recipe adapted from Full on Irish by Kevin Dundon