Irish soda bread may be the more popular variety of Irish bread, but brown bread is where my heart lies. Since my first trip to Ireland in 2001, I have been addicted to the Irish treat. There is just something special about the simplicity of brown bread, especially the way my cousin, Anna B, makes it.
As a professional baker in Ireland, Anna B is known for her special occasion cakes, but her brown bread is what I love most. Each morning, during our stays, we eat the bread right from the oven topped with Irish butter, and, of course, have tea to wash it all down. It’s the ideal breakfast to start any day in Ireland, but I would never limit eating it to just mornings alone.
In fact, my family loves Anna B’s brown bread so much that whenever one of us makes the trip to Ireland, we make sure to stock up on a few loaves. Then, we freeze them so that we always have a full stock.
This Thanksgiving, Anna B decided to come over and spend the holiday with my family for the first time. During her stay, she had the opportunity to teach a bread baking class at Fresh and Fancy Farms. Along with soda bread and apple cinnamon scones, she provided her recipe for brown bread, and now, I am handing it over to you.
1lb 4oz all purpose flour
4 oz. bran
4 oz wheatgerm
4 oz fine sugar
4 level teasp. baking soda
4 level teasp. salt
12 oz. coarse whole wheat flour
1 quart buttermilk
2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1. Sift together – flour, salt, and soda
2. Add in remaining dry ingredients
3. Mix well
4. Add buttermilk and oil
5. Mix to a soft dough
6. Put into three 2lb greased and floured loaf tins – use wheatgerm to flour
7. Bake in a preheated 360 oven for approx. 60 minutes
8. Turn upside down in cake tin and bake for 5 additional minutes
While it’s good all the time, I prefer it right out of the oven, with Irish butter, such as Kerry Gold. It’s so good, you’ll have a hard time eating just one slice. Enjoy!