Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Irish Brown Bread

When we were in Ireland this summer one thing we noticed after a couple of days was that Irish Soda Bread, a staple of an Irish meal here in the United States, was never served. Instead, at breakfast, lunch and dinner a delicious brown bread was always present. From hotels to restaurants to pubs the variety of the brown breads were as diverse as bakery bread in our country. 

I was told that Americans could never get the bread to taste the same because of two factors: American flour isn't coarse enough and the butter used in cooking (and also as a spread) is too different. One blogger recommended using Kerrygold butter available in some stores in the U.S. ( but I decided to forge ahead without the authentic products and see how it compared. 

My first attempt earlier this week was a disaster. I read the instructions incorrectly and ended up with a leaden loaf of grainy ingredients but I remade it yesterday with the correct proportions and was pleased with the results. 

I'm going to try another recipe next week and will try to get the Kerrygold butter for that one. But give this a try. I think you'll like it. 

Irish Brown Bread
Makes one loaf

1 cup all-purpose flour 
2 tablespoons sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter or margarine 
2 cups whole-wheat flour 
1/4 cup regular or quick-cooking rolled oats 
1 1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt or whipping cream
Chopped walnuts (optional) 

  • Mix all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture forms fine crumbs. Stir in whole-wheat flour, oats and nuts if desired.
  • Add yogurt; stirring gently. Add small amounts of milk if pastry is too dry but do not let it get sticky.
  • Knead dough into a ball on a floured board or on a granite counter top. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet shaping it into a 7" round. Cut a large X on top of loaf.
  •  Bake in a 375° oven for 40 minutes or until browned. Cool or serve warm. 
Tomorrow: A child sized tool apron

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