Irish Brown Bread

by Merissa on January 29, 2013

in Featured, Recipes

Post image for Irish Brown Bread

Whether you are on a budget, want to eat healthier, or just trying to round out a meal, a good loaf of bread can really save the day. Homemade and whole wheat? Even better! The problem is that bread usually takes a long time to make, even if it is simple and more of a waiting game than hard work. Your average loaf takes around four hours to mix, rise, bake and cool. This can be quite inconvenient if you are busy or in a hurry (or just plum forgot about dinner, which is usually my case!). That's when this hearty whole wheat soda bread comes to the rescue. It's thrown together in a flash, with no kneading or rising.

Toasted and slathered with butter, this bread is amazing with a bowl of chicken noodle soup. It both stretches the meal out further and helps make it even more filling. And really, is there anything more satisfying than a steaming bowl of soup with homemade bread on a cold, wintery evening? If you're part of the I-forgot-about-dinner-and-it's-five-o'clock crowd, than serve it with a fried egg topped with shredded cheddar cheese and you've got yourself a hearty meal in under ten minutes. Even the humdrum peanut butter and jelly can take center-stage when made with this bread (served with a big glass of cold milk, of course). No matter how you slice it (pun intended), a homemade loaf of whole wheat bread is a cook's secret weapon.

Irish Brown Bread
Adapted from Gourmet, March 2004
Makes 1 loaf

What You Need:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ cup wheat germ, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut up
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan or 9x2-inch round cake pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, wheat germ, salt, sugar, and baking soda. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs.


Add the buttermilk to the bowl and stir to combine. Using a firm spatula or a wooden spoon, fold the dough over onto itself in the bowl many times. This is how I 'knead' the dough. It should take just a minute or two for it to start coming away cleanly from the side of the bowl.

Press the dough into your prepared pan. Bake 30-40 minutes for the round, 1 hour for a loaf.

Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes, then take the loaf out and transfer to a cooling rack. The bread will cut easier if you let it cool until warm, but it can also be eaten right away.

Find even more simple Bread Recipes!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Navneet February 3, 2013 at 8:29 am

What can you use instead of buttermilk? Would love to try this but never have buttermilk at home…


2 Amanda February 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm

You can add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let it sit for ten minutes. That’s what I normally do since I never have buttermilk around either!


3 Carla December 26, 2013 at 6:37 pm

What exactly do you mean when you say “press it into the pan”?


4 Holly January 16, 2014 at 9:39 pm

I tried this bread tonight, I used all all purpose flour And swapped the bran for flax meal because that was what I had on hand. Very yummy bread! Would be a great breakfast bread with jelly or use it for biscuits and gravy.
Thanks for sharing


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