I love Irish breads: brown breads, Irish Soda breads, and scones. There’s something so simple and delicious about them. Some might say downright “plain.”
The last time I was in Ireland, I couldn’t get enough of the Irish Brown Bread and found myself searching it out every chance I got. If you’ve never had it, Irish brown bread is dense and crumbly, tender and nutty. It is delicious topped with salted butter, cheese or marmalade.
Brown bread is quick and easy; the ultimate quick bread. You can stir it together in less than 5 minutes with just a bowl and a spoon and the most basic of ingredients.
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup toasted wheat germ
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cold butter
- 1-1/3 cups buttermilk
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, whole wheat flour, rolled oats, wheat germ baking soda and salt until well blended.
- Cut the butter into very small pieces and add to the flour mixture, Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until they are as small as possible.
- Add the buttermilk and stir to combine until the dough is damp all over.
- Place the dough onto a lightly floured counter and gently shape into into a ball.
- Place the ball on your lined baking sheet and flatten slightly. Use a serrated knife to cut a 1-inch deep cross in the top of the bread. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with a little flour.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the loaf is firm to the touch on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Remove from the oven and place loaf on a wire rack to cool, wrapping a clean towel around so that the crust steams and softens and isn’t too hard.
- Cool for 2 hours before slicing and serving.
- Cut the loaf along the cross lines into four sections, then cut each section into 5 slices.