Ireland is a fabulous place to visit from Spring right through early Fall. The country has plenty of top-notch scenery, challenging golf courses, stud farms, and castles galore. And, it has all that really great food. Sheila and I had loads of fun going from tea room to pub to restaurant, sampling traditional Irish dishes.
The one constant at lunch wherever we went was the dense brown bread. It varied slightly in taste with different bakers, but it was usually served with soup or at afternoon tea, with jam, butter or honey.
Of course, when we came back to the States, Sheila and I created our own version of the bread so that we could serve it on St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, it is on the table with the soda bread, giving our guests a chance to try both. To be clear, Sheila does the baking and I do the tasting and cleanup. We make a great team in the kitchen. 🙂
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons cold butter
- 2 ¾ cups stone ground whole wheat flour, plus additional Tablespoons if needed
- ¼ cup regular or quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 4”x8” loaf pan
- non-stick cooking spray
- In a mixing bowl, blend all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt.
- Cut in butter until mixture forms pea sized crumbs.
- Stir in whole wheat flour and oats.
- Add buttermilk, using bread hook if available. If mixture is sticky, add in more whole wheat flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, just until the dough has a smooth, dry surface.
- Place dough ball on a lightly floured board and knead 6-7 times, shaping into a loaf.
- Spray 4”x8” loaf pan with non-stick spray and place dough in the pan.
- Bake at 400 until golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.
- Test for doneness with metal skewer.
- Remove from pan immediately and cool on rack.
- Let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Serve with butter, jam, or honey and enjoy!
*Photo by Patti Phillips