Brown soda bread

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March 12, 2008

Makes 1 round

Work quickly when putting this together, trying not to handle the dough too long or too firmly. Be as gentle as possible; never use a mixer.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup wheat bran
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/3 cups buttermilk
Extra all-purpose flour (for sprinkling)
1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Lightly flour a baking sheet.

2. In a bowl, combine the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours with the bran, salt, and baking soda. Stir well with a wooden spoon.

3. Add the buttermilk and stir gently until just combined; the mixture will be sticky.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and very gently shape it into a disk. Lift the dough and carefully bend the sides of the dough back, causing the top of the disk to break open and look craggy. Set it on the baking sheet.

5. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut an "X" in the top of the loaf, cutting down about 1/2 inch. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour.

6. Transfer to the oven and bake the bread 40 to 45 minutes or until it is brown and the bread sounds hollow when rapped on the bottom with your knuckles.

7. Cool the bread on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Keri Fisher and Matty Murphy

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