Irish Soda Brown Bread
4 1⁄2 cups whole wheat flour (preferably stone ground)
4 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup wheat germ
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 1⁄2 cups buttermilk
Heat the oven to 450° F.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk all in one go. Working from the center, mix with your hands. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
Turn out half the dough onto a floured board and knead lightly, just enough to shape into a round. Put onto a floured baking sheet. Flatten slightly to about 2 inches deep. Repeat with other half of dough.
Score deep cross into each round and bake in the hot oven for 15–20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400°F for about 20–25 minutes, or until the bread is cooked and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
Serve with good quality or homemade butter.
Makes: 2 loaves