The Hunger Games: Bakery Bread (Irish Soda Bread) with Blackberries and Goat Cheese

This is an ongoing series of food related to The Hunger Games, here are the links to the other recipes-Peeta’s raisin nut bread, pancakes in the Capitol, lunch with Cinna, District 11 bread (crescent rolls with seeds), Mellark’s Apple and Goat Cheese Tarts, Goose Liver and Puffy Bread, Lamb Stew with Dried Plums, Cake on Fire, Hot Chocolate,

“Look what I shot.”  Gale holds up a loaf of bread with an arrow stuck in it, and I laugh.  It’s real bakery bread, not the flat, dense loaves we make from our grain rations.  I take it in my hands, pull out the arrow, and hold the puncture in the crust to my nose, inhaling the fragrance that makes my mouth flood with saliva.  Fine bread like this is for special occasions.

“Mm, still warm,” I say.  He must have been at the bakery at the crack of dawn to trade for it.  “What did it cost you?”

“Just a squirrel.  Think the old man was feeling sentimental this morning,” says Gale.  “Even wished me luck.”

“Well, we all feel a little closer today, don’t we?” I say, not even bothering to roll my eyes.  “Prim left us a cheese.”  I pull it out.

His expression brightens at the treat.  “Thank you, Prim.  We’ll have a real feast.”  Suddenly he falls into a Capitol accent as he mimics Effie Trinket, the manically upbeat woman who arrives once a year to read out the names at the reaping.  “I almost forgot!  Happy Hunger Games!”  He plucks a few blackberries from the bushes around us.  “And may the odds-”  He tosses a berry in a high arc toward me.

I catch it in my mouth and break the delicate skin with my teeth.  The sweet tartness explodes across my tongue.  “-be ever in your favor!”  I finish with equal verve.  We have to joke about it because the alternative is to be scared out of your wits.  Besides, the Capitol accent is so affected, almost anything sounds funny in it.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Katniss, p 7-8

This is in the opening chapter of the book.  I really like it.  Katniss is relaxed and calm, with someone she trusts.  I always like to remember Katniss this way.

This bread is super yummy.  The crust is fabulous!  A really beautiful, rustic loaf.  And I like to think if Gale picked which loaf of bread he wanted from the bakery, he would pick this.  The blackberries of course we bought, however the goat cheese, we made.  I really am enjoying making goat cheese.  I will experiment with flavors again soon!

Irish Soda Bread

This recipe is from the brown eyed baker.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour*
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter for crust
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
*If you don’t have cake flour, you can substitute ¾ cup sifted all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

1. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 400°. Whisk the flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together in a large bowl. Work the softened butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or your fingertips until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.

2. Add the buttermilk and stir with a fork just until the dough begins to come together. Turn out onto a flour-coated work surface; knead just until the dough becomes cohesive and bumpy, 12 to 14 turns. (Do not knead until the dough is smooth, or the bread will be tough.)

3. Pat the dough into a round about 6 inches in diameter and 2 inches high; place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Score the dough by cutting a cross shape on the top of the loaf.

4. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, or the internal temperature reaches 180°, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and brush the surface with the melted butter; cool to room temperature, 30 to 40 minutes.

One thought on “The Hunger Games: Bakery Bread (Irish Soda Bread) with Blackberries and Goat Cheese

  1. Although this was some of the most simplistic food in the book, it was my favorite. The bread, blackberries and goat cheese complimented each other so well. I did not try spreading the blackberries on the bread with the goat cheese like in your pic, but would just spread the goat chees on the bread a pop a blackberry in my mouth when I would take a bite. This was my first time making bread and this bread was simple to make and tasted so awsome.

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