I love Irish food. It’s hearty and wonderful, especially on a cold wet day. In Ireland, traditional food consists of meat (beef, ham, chicken or lamb), root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, onions) cabbage, oats and bread — lots of bread! Almost every food order in Ireland comes with “brown bread” also known as “soda bread.”
It’s heartier and not fluffy like white bread. It’s nutty and full and tummy-filling! An older woman gave me this recipe after I complimented her on the bread she made for a ladies’ brunch. She said, “It’s just a regular brown bread,” but I don’t think so! I have had a lot of them, and this is the best one! It is an easy recipe. Try it out for yourself!
1¾ cups wheaten flour
2¾ cups sifted unbleached flour
½ cup of raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
½ cup of flaxseed
½ cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup of oat bran or wheat bran
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
25 oz. buttermilk
Butter, jam or honey to put on bread
1. Preheat oven to 400 ͦF.
2. Cut parchment paper to size and line 2 – 1 lb. loaf tins. (Trust me, this is a good idea if you want the loaf to come out of the tin nicely.)
3. In your large bowl, mix together wheaten flour, sifted unbleached flour, raw unsalted pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, oat bran (or wheat bran), salt and baking soda
4. Pour buttermilk over the dry mixture and mix very quickly.
Tip: The trick is in your speed. Mix all your dry ingredients together, have your oven fully preheated and your baking tins lined and ready to go, because as soon as you add the buttermilk, it will begin to proof, and the rising will begin.
5. Transfer into the lined baking tins.
6. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes. Check with a toothpick. The tops will be gloppy. That’s part of the fun of it.
7. Place loaves on cooling racks and tip them on their sides. Let them cool like this for about 15 minutes. Then remove from tins.
8. Enjoy with butter and jam or honey. This bread is also lovely with Irish stew or soup.
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