Thursday, March 1, 2012

Irish Brown Bread

I'm attempting to bake bread 50ish times in 2012 and I'm posting lots of pics and recipes to let you know how it's going. If you have a favorite bread recipe, let me know in the comments andI'll try to make it sometime!

I recently checked out the delightful Malachi McCormick's Irish Country Cooking by Malachi McCormick from the library and love the recipes but especially the personality of the author, who grew up in Co. Cork in the 40's and 50's. The charming Mr. McCormick claims that brown bread, not soda bread, is the "real Irish bread". It sounded tasty, healthy, and quite appropriate for March so I whipped up a loaf. Here's how you can too:

What you need:
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sour milk

What you do:
  • Mix all the dry ingredients
  • Make a well in the middle
  • Pour the milk into the well
  • Mix well to, in the words of Mr. McCormick, "make a thickish dough, not too wet or floppy"
  • On a floured surface, form the dough into a roundish flatish circle, about 7 inches in diameter
  • Use a wet knife to make a big X on the top of the loaf
  • Bake in an 8 in cast iron pot prepared with butter (see my notes for more suggestions) at 400 degrees for 40 minutes
My notes:
  • It was super dry-drier than pie crust or biscuts-when I added 2 cups of milk, so I added about a half cup more. It is rather dry in my house, so I'd still recommend starting with 2 cups, but don't be surprised if you have to add more. I'd add extra no more than 1/4 cup at a time until the texture seems right.
  • Mr. McCormick suggests using an 8 in round cake pan with a lid in lieu of a cast-iron pot, but as I didn't have one of those either, I used two glass pie pans, one as the pot and one as the lid.


SusieQTpies said...

Goodness these look great! I saw this on Southern MOM Cooks St. Patty's Day Link up. I would LOVE and be honored if you came an linked it up to mine. I just posted it today.

Everyone who links up any of their St. Patrick's Day post will get a pin from me on Pinterest! Also if you are on Pinterest, I'll follow you! Join in the fun.


SusieQTpies said...

So awesome! Thanks for linking up in my St. Patrick's Day Ideas & Recipe link up! You rock. I just gave you a pin and now following you on Pinterest! Have a super week! Susie

Swtlilchick said...

This bread looks delicious.I am one that thought for years that soda bread was the traditional Irish bread.I would have to say this would be healthier,and am going to try making it.Thanks for the great recipe

Rajesh Kumar said...

Oh my goodness this looks divine!!! I make whole-wheat sourdough which does take a bit of time, but I will definitely keep this recipe mind if I suddenly run out and don’t have a good 24hrs to wait for my dough to ferment. Do French people like this sort of bread? I have a French student staying and I am nervous to give her my rustic bread! Love your work so much :)

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