All credit for this recipe goes to my Irish great-grandmother, Hannah Moynihan.
1 cup currants or raisins, soaked in enough hot water to cover
6 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted or very soft
2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp caraway seeds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and begin soaking the currants or raisins in hot water. (Tip -- do not begin soaking the currants more than an hour before mixing the bread, as they will become overly waterlogged and explode when stirred in.) Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and caraway seeds until well combined. Stir or cut in the butter, then add the buttermilk and the currants along with the water they've soaked in.
Pour into a 13x9 baking pan. Brush the top of the bread with a mixture of sugar and a little water or milk for a sweet, well-browned crust. For an authentic Irish Grandma touch, cut a cross into the top of the loaf. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until well-browned and a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean.