Brown Bread

Irish brown bread is an essential table item in Ireland.  Period.  Any time of the day: breakfast, afternoon tea, dinner, evening snack, a loaf of brown bread and a pat of butter is always on hand.

And now that I have found a recipe that closely replicates the beautiful loaves I’ve enjoyed in lovely homes across Ireland I am giddy I can now have it stateside any time I like.

My mouth waters just thinking about it.

Cook’s Note: As a last minute change up I omitted the wheat germ and simply added more of the course whole wheat flour.

4 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

·2 teaspoons salt

·¼ cup molasses

·1 teaspoon baking soda

·1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

·1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

·2 cups well-shaken buttermilk

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.

Butter a baking sheet or a 9- by 2-inch round cake pan.

Whisk together flours, wheat germ, salt, sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a large bowl until combined well. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Make a well in center and add buttermilk, stirring until a dough forms. Gently knead on a floured surface, adding just enough more flour to keep dough from sticking, until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Transfer dough onto prepared baking sheet or cake pan, flatten to fill pan. With a sharp knife, cut an X (1/2 inch deep) across top of dough (5 inches long). Bake until loaf is lightly browned and sounds hollow when bottom is tapped, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool, right side up, about 1 hour.

Bread can be served the day it is made, but can be kept wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 4 days.

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One thought on “Brown Bread

  1. Pingback: Lughnasa | Historic Hostess

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