3 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup currants or raisins
4 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. melted butter, optional
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Lightly grease a sheet pan.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and currants or raisins.
Using a mixer or your fingers, work in the butter until it’s evenly distributed and no large chunks remain.
In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg.
Pour mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
The dough may be stiff; if it’s too crumbly to squeeze together, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk.
Knead dough a couple of times until it just holds together, then shape it into a ball.
Flatten the ball slightly, and place on the sheet pan.
Use a sharp knife to cut a ½”-deep cross in the loaf.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and brush the top with melted butter, if desired.
Store for about 2 days, well wrapped, at room temperature; freeze for longer storage (up to about a month).