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Tips on winning soda bread contest Saturday at Irish Center

The Buffalo Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road, will host its 10th annual soda bread competition on Saturday. If you're interested, bring entries to the center’s library from 9 to 10 a.m. Loaves should be wrapped in clear plastic, with a removable label attached with the baker's name, address and phone number.

Pastry chef Bridget English will judge entries on appearance, taste and texture. (The former Hyatt pastry chef now teaches part-time in the Culinary Department at ECC City Campus, as well as running the Dog Ears Cafe in South Buffalo.)

I asked her to describe what she looks for in good soda bread. Here's what she said:

"I look for a very traditional soda bread, that is - round and self-supporting with a texture that is somewhat dense but not dry. It should not be particularly sweet, but generally have an underlying flavor of butter. It should be golden brown with the traditional cross cut in the top, to bless the bread or let the fairies out, whichever tale you prefer. 

It may be brown (made with whole wheat flour and sometimes oats), have raisins or currants, and some have caraway seed. All these are traditional variations. No chocolate chips please!"

Winners will be notified by phone. Prizes will be awarded for the top three entries, courtesy of the Tara Gift Shoppe. All entries become the property of the Irish Center. For more information, call 627-5966.

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Food and Drink
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