Saints be praised, St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, sure.
Of course, traditional corned beef and cabbage is off the table for vegetarians – although, I do have an imitation version of a Reuben Sandwich. Not to worry, there are still plenty of good eats to be enjoyed!
Irish Brown Soda Bread is one of them. We generally see recipes for white Irish Soda Bread, but I find the brown soda bread is a more hearty, flavorful choice. Out of necessity at the time of the Irish famine, soda bread was widely made since it was cheap, filling, and easy.
My Irish mammy always made sure we wore green for St. Patrick’s Day. So, of course, that’s what I’ll be wearing when I bake my next loaf of IRISH BROWN SODA BREAD.
Note: I’ve given the amounts for the flours in both ounces and cups. Weighing flour is much more accurate, but if you don’t have a scale, use measuring cups.
Additional Note: The wheat bran and wheat germ in this recipe are making up for the lack of them in American (and perhaps other countries, as well) whole wheat flour. The Irish wheatmeal flour has more bits in it, making for a more flavorful loaf. If you have access to the Irish wheatmeal flour, then use 14-1/2 oz (3-1/4 cups) wheatmeal and skip the wheat bran and germ. The other ingredients should stay the same.
IRISH BROWN SODA BREAD – makes 1 loaf
- 9 oz (2 cups) whole wheat flour
- 4½ oz (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- 1¾ oz (1 cup) wheat bran
- 3/4 oz (1/4 cup) wheat germ
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375º Fahrenheit.
You can use an 8″ cast iron skillet (which I use) or 8″ cake pan. If you’re using a cast iron skillet, place it in the preheating oven to get it really hot. (Don’t do this with the cake pan.)
Into a large mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. When the oven is preheated, remove skillet from oven and oil it. (Oil the cake pan, if you’re using that.)
Working quickly, stir the buttermilk into the dry ingredients, mixing until flour is incorporated. Pile the batter into the hot skillet, pushing it all the way into the corners but mounding the batter into a dome. (Only the bottom portion of the batter should touch the sides of the pan – this will create a higher loaf.) Slash top to make an ‘X’, 1/2″ deep and 5″ long. Bake in the preheated 375º F oven until interior temperature of the bread is 185º F – about 35-45 minutes. If you don’t have a thermometer, look for a golden brown top after 35 minutes. Remove hot loaf from skillet and cool at least an hour on a wire rack. Delicious with butter or jam.