- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan and top of the loaf
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into half-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup dried currants (optional)
- 1 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, as needed
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 F. Dust the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan with flour.
- Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl. Add the butter and stir to coat with the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly, with some pea-size pieces of butter. Stir in the currants and caraway seeds (if using). Stir in enough of the buttermilk to make a moist, soft dough, being sure to moisten all of the dry bits on the bottom of the bowl. Knead in the bowl just a few times to be sure the dough comes together — this is not a smooth dough.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Sprinkle the top with at least 1 tablespoon flour to give the loaf a rustic look. Transfer to the prepared pan. Using a sharp knife, cut a shallow 4-inch wide X in the top of the dough. The X will open during baking and help the loaf bake more evenly.
- Bake until the top is deep golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the pan. Let cool on a wire cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes, and serve warm. (The bread is best the day it is made.)
Makes 1 loaf.