17 March 2011

Irish Brown Bread

It's St. Patrick's day, so I thought I'd try my hands on making some brown bread. I've never made it before, but have consumed enough to know what qualifies as tasty. Most places around here sell "irish soda bread" during this time of year. Most of the time, it's a sweet white bread with raisins and carraway seeds or something bizarre like that. Little do they know that they are missing out on the deliciousness that is brown bread.

My aunt Siobhan always had the best brown bread in her house. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, perfect when when smothered in golden creamy butter and enjoyed best with a nice cuppa tea.
I found that plate as part of a set at a local Salvation Army during a half off sale.  It was made in Arklow, Ireland.
I combined a few different recipes for this bread. It turned out pretty good, for my first go. It's a little salty, so next time I will cut back on the salt.

I've also been trying to cut down on my purchasing of packaging this month so I tried to use a lot of what I had on hand. However, I did purchase some Kerrygold butter, because there is nothing like it. You're supposed to use really coarse whole wheat flour, but I just used what was in the fridge but mixed in some rye flour and coarsley ground oats. I also made my own buttermilk, which is basically just milk and apple cider vinegar. I've never really experimented to see if there is a difference between using real buttermilk or making your own, but I've never had a real issue with it.

1 1/3 cups whole milk
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup ground oats
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp cold butter

Mix the milk and apple cider vinegar together. Mix the flours, oats, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Cut in the butter. Add the "buttermilk" mixture and stir together. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 4-5 times. Shape the dough gently into a round loaf and place on a baking pan. Cut a cross into the top. Bake at 350 for 30 mins. Rotate and bake for another 30 mins. Let cool. Smother with butter and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. as far as i know when you add vinegar (i think you can use lemon juice too) to the milk it just causes it to sour, while actual buttermilk is a live fermented product (similar process to yoghurt)
    i think it tastes different and that you should give it a try to compare.
    good effort on your first attempt at brown soda making. I'm emailing aisling my 2 favourite brown bread recipes later when i get home...she can pass them on to you :)