Brown Soda Bread

makes one large loaf (about 12-inches round) or two small loaves (about 6-inches round)

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

2-3 cups buttermilk, well shaken

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425° F.  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Use your fingers to break up the brown sugar so no lumps remain.  Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add 2 1/2 cups of the buttermilk. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, mix the ingredients in a full circle drawing the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding more buttermilk as needed until the dough is soft and smooth, but not too wet.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.  Gather the dough into one large or two small balls, rolling it around with lightly floured hands.  Pat each ball into a round disk about 2 inches high.

Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.  Brush the top with the melted butter.  Using a sharp knife, cut a small (and not too deep) X on the top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes for the small loaves and 40-45 minutes for the large loaf.  Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or reheat before slicing.  Enjoy!

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