rich and wheaty soda bread

dough

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
1/4 cup evaporated cane juice raw turbinado sugar
5 tablespoons (1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon) cold unsalted butter, cut into teaspoon-size chunks
2 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

finish

1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

procedure

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a heavy rimmed sheet pan (measuring 13 by 18 inches) with a length of ovenproof kitchen parchment paper.

For the dough, whisk the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Drop in the chunks of butter and, using a pastry blender or two round-bladed table knives, cut the fat into small pea-size bits. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk. Pour the whisked mixture over the flour mixture and stir to form a dough, using a wooden spoon or paddle. Work the dough in the bowl lightly until it comes together; this will take about 12 turns.

On a lightly floured work surface, form the dough into a plump 6-inch ball. Sprinkle the oats over and around the surface of the dough ball. Carefully roll the dough ball in the oats to coat it entirely. Use all of the oats for adhering to the ball of dough.

Using a wide spatula, transfer the ball of dough onto the lined sheet pan. Cut an 1/8-inch cross in the top of the ball of dough (up to 1 1/2 inches of the rounded sides), using a small, sharp paring knife.

Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until set and baked through. The baked bread will sound hollow when the top or bottom is tapped lightly with the handle of a wooden spoon. Random sections of the top of the baked bread will be a ruddy brown color.

Cool the bread on the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Slip an offset metal spatula under the bottom of the bread and transfer to another cooling rack. Cool completely. Cut the bread into slices, using a serrated knife. Store in an airtight bread or cake keeper.

creates

one bread, about one dozen generous slices

store

enjoy on baking day, or up to one day in advance, stored in an enclosed container

notes

◊ this is a slightly sticky dough that bakes into a moist bread
◊ be sure to use all of the rolled oats to coat the outside of the dough ball
◊ use the thickest buttermilk you can find