So my favorite part of St Patrick’s Day isn’t the corned beef and cabbage or the green beer. It’s definitely all about this Irish Brown Bread. Check out my favorite hearty brown bread! It requires very little prep, no yeast, no eggs, no sugar and is done baking in 30 min or less!
For our 5 year anniversary, Kevin and I checked off a major bucket list item… a trip of a lifetime exploring Ireland for a week. We stayed in castles, drove around gorgeous landscapes, ate like kings and drank more Guinness than water. I am pretty sure it applies as a water substitute when you are there. #wheninireland is the new #wheninrome.
One thing that will always stand out to us is the full Irish breakfasts we had every morning. They differed slightly at each castle, but all of them had delicious loaves of brown bread. Some were lighter than others, but all had a dense, robust flavor that was just so addicting. It was served with a nice dish of creamy, salted, room temperature butter – perfect for smearing alongside homemade preserves. Seriously, this brown bread was heaven!
Out of all we consumed and devoured, I really wanted to recreate the brown bread when I got back home. Sadly, I learned a lesson about cooking something in another region – the difference in water quality and ingredients carries the potential to totally screw up a recipe that works perfectly somewhere else. This is the same reason Guinness tastes so darn good in Ireland, brewed with their mountain water, but has a bitter aftertaste here in the states where it is not. Side note, to taste anything close to a Guinness in Ireland, pick up a Left-Hand Milk Stout. It is brewed with Colorado mountain water and tastes so similar it’s hard to make out the difference. Just pick up a six-pack the next time you visit your local spirits store…you’ll thank me later! Anyway, I tried sooooo many bread recipes and each time it was a flop. Eventually, I just gave up and decided that decent brown bread was just going to be an Irish secret. And then one day, it happened.
I got it right.
After MANY years, and dozens of loaves, the ingredients finally came together as they should. It required just the right balance of grains with a vinegar based milk to work off of the baking soda, creating a magic leavening effect that doesn’t require yeast. Finished with a touch of molasses, this bread is hearty, filling and is something we love to feast on, especially around St Patricks Day with a nice bowl of corned beef and cabbage. Followed immediately by IRISH TRIPLE THREAT COOKIES because, um, yes!!!
Here are 5 reasons why you have to try this Super Easy Irish Brown Bread:
1) It requires no yeast, no rising, very little kneading and is done cooking in less than 30 minutes. Winning!
2) It can be made either with a buttermilk or as a dairy-free version and still tastes amazing! There are also no eggs, so it can be made vegan very easily without much adjustment.
3) While the portions of grain need to be somewhat similar, the heartier grains can be interchanged for something else if one is not available. A friend of mine didn’t have buckwheat flour, so she subbed for red bulgar and loved it! Side note: I have not made it without Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour, which is super easy to find HERE. However, the buckwheat is definitely interchangeable.
4) This bread is such a dense, rich, fiber loaded brown bread and will leave you feeling very satisfied. It is perfect topped with soft butter, preserves, or used to soak up the last of your soup bowl. It literally is beckoning to be a part of every meal from now on for the rest of your life!
5) There is no sugar in this bread. It contains only the natural, iron-rich sweetener, blackstrap molasses, which helps give it a delicious flavor straight outta Ireland.
If you LOVE Irish inspired food, check out these WHISKEY PRALINE MERENGUE CAKE BITES! They are light and fluffy…the perfect balance after a heavy meal of corned beef and cabbage, shepherds pie or Guinness Stew!
Here’s How I make Irish Brown Bread:
1) Mix together milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 min. Omit this step if using buttermilk. Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
2) Add molasses to milk mixture and mix well. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix together until incorporated. If there is too much liquid, let sit for a few minutes until the oatmeal absorbs some of the moisture.
3) Turn brown bread mix onto a floured surface and add flour until dough is no longer sticky and can be easily handled.
4) Shape into a flat ball or disc and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Press some oatmeal into the top of dough if desired.
5) Bake for 10 minutes at 425, then reduce heat to 400 and bake for another 15-25 minutes, or until the dough sounds hollow when you knock on the top. The baking time will vary based on the shape of your loaf (more time for a rounder shape; less time for more disc-shaped).
6)Serve warm or cold. Goes great with softened butter or preserves!
With much love from my table to yours,
Irish Brown Bread
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix together milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 min.
Omit step two if using buttermilk
Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
Add molasses to milk mixture and mix well.
Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix together until incorporated. If there is too much liquid, let sit for a few minutes until the oatmeal absorbs some of the moisture.
Turn brown bread mix onto a floured surface and add flour until dough is no longer sticky and can be easily handled.
Shape into a flat ball, or disc and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Press some oatmeal into the top of dough if desired.
Bake for 10 minutes at 425, then reduce heat to 400 and bake for another 15-25 minutes, or until the dough sounds hollow when you knock on the top. The baking time will vary based on the shape of your loaf (more time for a rounder shape; less time for more disc-shaped).
Serve warm or cold. Goes great with softened butter or preserves!
If using buttermilk, make sure to use 2 cups because 1 + 2/3 is not enough liquid since buttermilk is thicker than regular or vegan milk.
Vegan milk can totally be used! Just add vinegar and let it do the magic like regular milk! Almond milk works perfectly.
Buckwheat flour can be exchanged for other dense fibrous flour. You can also grind up other grains like bulgar and use in exchange.