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Brown soda bread

Makes 1 large loaf

While sweet soda breads, studded with raisins, are popular in many Irish-American households, so are brown soda breads, made with whole - wheat and all-purpose flours.

2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
6 tablespoons butter, cut up
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups buttermilk
Extra all-purpose flour (for sprinkling)
1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, combine the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, salt, and baking soda. Whisk just to sift them.

3. With a pastry blender, work in the butter until the mixture resembles crumbs. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the sugar, then the buttermilk. Stir gently until the mixture comes together to form a dough.

4. Sprinkle the counter lightly with extra flour. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead it gently until smooth. Form it into a smooth round, then shape it into a 2-inch-thick cake.

5. Transfer the bread to the baking sheet. With a paring knife, mark a 3/4-inch-deep cross on top of the dough. Set the baking sheet in the oven and bake the bread for 55 minutes or until it is puffed and browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

6. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into thick slices for serving.Sheryl Julian & Julie Riven Notes: