* To substitute for buttermilk, use 4 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice plus milk to make 1 1/4 cups.
Personalize the character of this recipe by using your favorite type of dried fruit. Raisins and currants are traditional with soda bread; the candied fruit mixtures typically used for holiday fruit cakes work well, too. For a bit of exotic flair, try chopped dried papaya, mango, pineapple or star-fruit. Look for tropical dried fruits in large supermarkets, produce shops or health food stores.
Add 1 teaspoon caraway seed to the dough.
For a softer crust, brush the top of the warm loaf with melted butter.