4 1/4cupsall purpose flour or moremay need up to a 1/4 cup more
6tbspbutter, softened and cubedsee photo below
1 3/4cupsour milk or buttermilksee recipe for sour milk
First, set your oven rack to the middle position and not too close to the heating element because the top of your bread could burn. You may put a piece of aluminum foil over top the bread after it's formed a crust. Preheat oven to 425F.
Then, measure out all of your ingredients. You'll be getting your hands wrangled up in dough so, this is a great way to keep all of your stuff clean...like your raisin container, flour bag, egg carton, etc.
Next, in a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, sugar and salt.
Then, press the softened butter cubes into the flour mixture in between your fingers until it is well incorporated and crumbly like.
Next, add in the beaten egg, sour milk and raisins.
Then, mix with your hands and knead the dough just until you can form a ball. Don't over knead dough. It should be shaggy, not smooth. If it's too wet, add a little bit more flour. Over kneading dough will cause it to be tough and not taste as good. It's easier to make a ball when you dust your fingers with flour.
Next, put the dough ball into an oil-sprayed small cast iron skillet (8" in diameter) or on a baking sheet. Sprinkle some flour on top of it and rub it around gently.
Then, using a serrated knife, cut the dough ball in the middle from one side to the other lengthwise and top to bottom.
Last, bake in 425F oven for 45 min or more. Check the center with a toothpick at 45 min to see if it comes out clean. You may want to cover the top of the bread with foil when it starts browning so it doesn't burn.
After bread cools, store in a plastic bag or air tight container for up to 3 days. You may freeze it in a freezer bag up to 3 months.