Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Irish Brown Bread

Since St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner I decided to make my favorite brown bread.  I've never been a big fan of Irish soda bread, but a few years ago I tried Peggy's brown bread and absolutely loved it! Peggy is my mom's best friend from Cavan, Ireland, and she's like another mom to me.  More importantly she has become a friend and I'm lucky that she is part of my life.  I always look forward to stopping at Peggy's house when I go home for a cup of tea and girl talk!  When my mom and Peg come visit me in Boston for our annual girl's weekend, it's always a fun time full of good food, shopping, and a lot of laughs!  A few months ago I asked Peggy for this recipe and she was kind enough to share it with me.
It's super quick and easy which rates really high with me when it comes to bread.  The recipe contains wholemeal flour which gives the bread an earthy quality.  Wholemeal is a coarsely ground, soft red whole wheat flour which is often used in Ireland's signature brown breads. You can substitute whole wheat flour if you can't find it, but I highly recommend trying the wholemeal.  Now unless you live in Woodlawn you probably will not find this in your local grocery store, but luckily you can order it from King Arthur.   Peggy's bread is perfect with an Irish breakfast or on a rainy afternoon with a cup of Barry's tea.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Mise en place

Close-up shot of wholemeal

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1t. baking powder
  • 1t. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 stick melted unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  1. Sift all dry ingredients together.
  2. Stir in melted butter, beaten egg, and buttermilk.
  3. Turn dough onto work surface and knead just until it comes together.
  4. Shape dough and score it with a paring knife.
  5. Place on a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes.

Dough shaped and scored. It's really important to NOT over work your dough or you will end up with a very dry and tough bread.

Finished product


  1. Good for you! This bread looks tasty!! ♥- Katrina

  2. This looks great! I love that you used wholemeal!

  3. just in time for st patty's thanks for sharing this!

    Jas at

  4. I've next come across wholemeal before. Reading this post was worth it for finding a new ingrediant to look for alone. But then the bread looks awesome and is something I can make next week.


  5. This sounds so delicious! Will try this soon I love good bread!
    Wonderful job!

  6. Anonymous3/13/2011

    I just made some Irish bread too! Yours looks delicious! :)

  7. Wow, beautiful loaf of Irish bread;-)

  8. Anonymous3/21/2011

    I'm definitely going to try this as I have absolutely no luck with yeast & wholemeal!! Sounds so much quicker & easier, thanks!!