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Irish Brown Bread

From her home base in Traverse City, Christina Marbury combines passions and skills to round out her unique résumé: food photographer, food blogger, digital marketer focused on local food businesses and special order baker. She also loves celebrating her Irish heritage, especially around St. Patrick’s Day, with this robust recipe for traditional Irish soda bread. Find Christina at tootsweetness.com and follow her on Instagram @tootsweetness.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour (use all-purpose if you don’t have cake flour)
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ or oat bran
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preparation

Place flours, wheat germ, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until fully combined. With your fingers, rub softened butter into the flour mixture until completely incorporated. Create a well by pushing some of the flour to the sides of the bowl, and pour in the buttermilk. With a fork, stir the mixture gently to incorporate the buttermilk into the dry ingredients. The dough will come together in large clumps.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to bring it together to form a 6-inch round. It will be a little uneven; don’t worry! Place the dough in a 12-inch cast iron, or on a baking sheet, and score a deep cross into the top of the bread, nearly reaching each edge, and about half an inch deep. Bake bread at 400 degrees for 40–45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Best served warm with butter.