This is a standard recipe for Irish Soda Bread. I reduced the amount of raisins and added honey butter, which is what my mom served with her soda bread. Also, to bring out their sweetness (or so she said), my mom soaked the raisins in 1 tbsp. whiskey and enough water to cover them, not for a long time, just while she got ready to start making the bread (for maybe a total of 20 minutes). Then, when it was time to add raisins, she drained the liquid out and added the raisins to the dough. I've just never made a habit of doing that. But the honey butter is good!
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Combine butter and honey in a small bowl, and mix vigorously for about a minute or until well combined and smooth. Cover bowl, and store in refrigerator until read to serve the soda bread.
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in large bowl of electric mixer. Add butter and mix on low speed until well incorporated into the flour. Add raisins, caraway seeds and buttermilk, and continue mixing on low speed just until ingredients are well incorporated into the dough.
Turn dough onto a well-floured surface, and knead 5 or 6 times. If dough sticks to work surface, add a little more flour and knead a few more times. Form dough into a round loaf.
Place dough on prepared baking sheet, and with a sharp knife cut an X across the top of the loaf (to help the inside bake evenly).
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. You know it's done when you get a hollow sound when you tap the bottom with your knuckle.
Let cool on baking sheet a few minutes, the cool completely or cut into wedges and serve warm with the honey butter.