I am lactose intolerant so I substitute a half cup of water and a half cup water and one tablespoon of lemon juice for the one cup of buttermilk. I also roll the dough in one half cup of flour before i put it in the oven to give it a thicker consistency. Even people who don't like soy milk have raved about this recipe. You can also substitute milk for the soy. It's always moist, you can't taste the soy and I have receive many compliments. I have made this every year for 4 years and it's delicious.
In small bowl, pour boiling water over raisins, let stand 5 minutes. In large bowl, sift flour, soda, baking powder and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Drain raisins, stir into flour mixture. Add buttermilk all at once. Stir vigorously with fork. Shape into ball.
Place on greased 8 inch pie plate. Bake 15 minutes at 400°F, lower heat to 375°F and bake for 30 more minutes, or until knife comes out clean. Remove from pie plate. Cool 1 hour. Cut into wedges or slices.
Irish soda bread, St. Patrick's Day