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Today is a big day: Day 2 of our little ‘barnraising’ here at the Ranch.  Yes, I know the Amish can build a barn in just one day, and yes I know our barn is really more of a shed, but I’m still excited to see it start coming together after mostly taking it apart yesterday.  Photos soon!

In the meantime, here’s my recipe for Irish Brown Bread.  As a one-time resident of the Emerald Isle, I feel I’m fully qualified to tell you that this is by far the best Irish soda bread recipe out there for making real, authentic Brown Bread. Brown Bread is eaten with nearly every meal. It should be dense and moist, with a large crumb.  One slice is like eating a bowl of oatmeal, making it a perfect breakfast, all by itself, or with a little butter or jam.  Actually, my favorite is with cream cheese and capers (you know I love the salty things!).  It’s off the hook, yo.

Anyway, original credit to the New York Times for the bones of this recipe, although my modifications made it much better.

Irish Brown Bread

Ingredients
  • 3 cups extra coarse whole wheat flour (I get locally grown and milled from the co-op in town, but just try to get the freshest flour you can)
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 3 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Butter (or non-stick spray) and flour to coat the baking pan
Method
  • 1. Combine first seven ingredients and fluff together with hands to mix in the baking soda and baking powder completely.
  • 2. Add egg, buttermilk, and honey and stir to combine until it has the consistency and appearance of oatmeal.
  • 3. Butter and flour a 9” round baking pan. Pour in batter and score the top with a cross.
  • 4. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Cool on a rack completely before cutting.  (Makes one loaf, refrigerate after a few days)
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