There are few aromas better than that of fresh-baked bread. Many people don’t bother trying to make it at home, however, because of the yeast. It can be a terrifying, intimidating ingredient. This week’s recipe, from Ireland, is traditional Irish Brown Bread – and guess what? There’s no yeast!
Authentic Irish breads have minimal ingredients (check out this site dedicated to Irish Soda Breads – they even list ingredients that are not found in traditional recipes!), and this one, from the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread, is no exception. It is also very quick and easy to make, so give it a try, and let me know how it turned out for you!
Irish Brown Bread
Adapted from the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread
Makes 1 round loaf
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose white flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons butter (optional)
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
Extra white flour, for dusting
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a cake pan and set aside. In a large bowl, sift the flours, salt, and baking soda together. Rub in the butter, if using, until you get a crumb-like texture. Add the buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough a few times, just until it is smooth. Shape it into a round, lightly flour, and place in the cake pan. Using a floured knife, cut a cross in the top of the round. Cover the cake pan with another pan, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the bottom of the bread sounds hollow when tapped. After removing the bread from the oven, cover with a slightly damp tea towel.