Hearty Irish Brown Bread, slathered with salty butter. YUM! This bread goes fantastically well with any of the Irish dishes posted here. It’s great with both savory or sweet toppings and is a perfect accompaniment to any soup or stew. It has an incredibly satisfying crunch to it when toasted. Delicious! This dense, wheaty bread may not be for you if you prefer something akin to Wonder bread, but if you like the whole grain experience, this bread is to die for. And, as if it could get any better, it is very easy to make. You really don’t have to fuss over it at all. There is no yeast involved, the soda makes it rise. You basically just mix the few ingredients listed below together. Form it into three smaller loaves, or two larger ones if you prefer. Knead this bread as little as possible. Too much handling will cause it to not rise sufficiently and it will be tough. Brush the top with melted butter, sprinkle with a bit of salt and a few oats. Remember to cut the cross on the top so that the fairies can escape as I mentioned in my previous Irish Soda Bread post.
Pop it into the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until it sounds hollow inside when you knock on the bottom. Cool on racks. Done! It’s so amazing everyone will think you slaved over all day!
Irish Brown Bread
4 Cups whole wheat flour
1 Cup bread flour
1/3 Cup rolled oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 Cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
In a large bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, white flour, rolled oats, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add buttermilk. Gently mix in the buttermilk until a soft dough is formed. Knead very lightly. Divide dough into 3 pieces; form into rounded flat loaves. Brush tops of loaves with melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt and a few extra oats. Cut a cross in the top of each loaf 1″ deep and place on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 30-45 minutes. Should sound hollow when tapped on bottom.
Remove to wire racks to cool.