Irish Brown Bread
Brown bread is rich with a bit of sweetness and a dense texture. Similar to the soda bread you can find in American bakeries around St. Patrick's Day, brown bread is made with no yeast. In theory, you could use slices of brown bread to make a sandwich but I have not seen it done. What you really want to do is take a thick slice of warm (it must be warm) brown bread and smear it with a bit of real Irish butter.
- Easy to prepare, whole grain, traditional Irish brown bread
- Good source of fiber and protein
- 4 Weight Watchers Points Plus per serving
After my introduction to homemade Irish brown bread I looked forward to future opportunities to repeat the experience. It didn't occur to me that I could find a recipe to make the bread myself until just a few years ago. Fortunately the internet came to my rescue and I was able to find a recipe published in the Avoca Cafe Cookbook the cafe partner to one of my favorite places to shop (and eat) in Dublin.
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Traditional Irish Brown Bread
- 1 ½ cup flour 6 oz all purpose
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour 11 oz whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoon wheat bran
- 2 tablespoon flax meal
- 2 teaspoon baking powder heaping tsp
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon molasses
- 2- 21/2 cups low fat buttermilk
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Coat an 8" x 5" loaf pan with butter or non-stick spray. Dust the inside of the pan with additional flax meal or bran.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the molasses and stir in enough milk to give the batter a "moist but not sloppy" texture. Start with 2 cups and add more if needed. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and shake to level. Sprinkle a bit of bran on the top to make it pretty.
- The loaf bakes in three stages: Begin by baking until the loaf has risen - somewhere between 6 to 20 minutes. When the loaf is nice and round, reduce the heat to 325 and continue to bake for another hour. At this point remove the bread from the oven. Carefully loosen the bread from its pan and ease it out.
- Tap on the bottom of the loaf, if it sounds hollow, it is done. If your tap thuds, place the loaf back in the oven just on the rack without its pan. Continue baking until it passes the "hollow test", could be as many as 30 additional minutes.
- Cool the loaf completely before using a sharp serrated knife to cut the loaf into 12 even slices.