While editing an article on goat-milk products this week, and I got a serious craving for some nice, creamy goat cheese.  I wanted something healthy, fresh, and simple to go with it and decided this whole-wheat Irish soda bread was the perfect canvas for my cheese.  This hearty loaf is dense and moist in the middle and crispy on the outside.  It has only six ingredients, most of which are probably in your kitchen right now, and you can have it in the oven in about 10 minutes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 2 ¼ c. buttermilk, plus 3 T. for brushing on
  • 3 T. melted butter

First, preheat the oven to 450 and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour.

Next, combine all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk.  Pour in the buttermilk and mix until thoroughly combined with your hand(s) or a wooden spoon. Be careful not to over mix.  The dough will be moist and sticky but should hold together well.  Turn it out onto a well-floured surface.

With clean, floured hands, pat and shape the dough into a round, about two inches thick and transfer it to the baking sheet (or a pizza stone works great).

Then, with a sharp knife, make an “X” in the center of the loaf, about halfway to the edges and about ¼ to ½ inch thick.  Lastly, combine the butter and 3 T. of buttermilk and brush it all over the top of the loaf.

Bake it for 20 minutes, then turn down the oven to 400 and brush on some more butter/buttermilk mixture.  Bake another 25-30 minutes until deep golden brown.  It should sound hollow when you tap on it.

Brush on a little more butter/buttermilk and let it cool for about 30 minutes on a wire rack.  Spread on some goat cheese and/or jam; or serve it up alongside some hearty stew or a crisp green salad.  You really can’t go wrong with this one.

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