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I made bread.


It was Saturday morning, and I wanted bread. I rose from the comforts of my tangled blankets, stumbled into the kitchen, did some stirring and a bit of kneading, and an hour later pulled a steaming, dense and chewy loaf from the oven.

This is an Irish brown bread recipe, so there’s no yeast. In other words, making bread won’t take you hours upon days, and you’ll probably be successful on the first go-around. Not to completely denounce authentic, yeasted bread – I’m just the kind of person who gets discouraged when she can’t do something perfectly right the first time she tries. Can you tell?


So until I can finally make a really good baguette (no, I’m not giving up just yet), this brown bread recipe will have to do. Which is completely fine by me – as I’m sure you’ll see, it has the perfect balance of sourdough-like tang, crunchy crust, chewy interior, and sturdy heft to sustain the weight of whatever you feel like adorning it with. It’d make a great tartine.


IRISH BROWN BREAD :: Makes 1 loaf

The original recipe calls for buttermilk. I was without buttermilk AND milk, so I substituted yogurt. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand. Also, G. uses ground oatmeal, but I opted for milled flaxseed. Again, be creative and see what’s in your pantry. Wheat germ might be nice.  Adapted from Kiss My Spatula.

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 2 tsp. sea salt 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 4 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into cubes 1/2 cup milled flaxseed 1 2/3 cup whole milk yogurt

  • Preheat oven to 350’. Butter a baking sheet, or line with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two knives, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the flaxseed.
  • Add yogurt and stir to combine. Dough will be sticky. Remove to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to form a smooth ball, adding a bit more flour if you need to. Gently pat dough into a round dome, about 6-7 inches in diameter. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  • Lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. With a sharp knife, cut an X into the top of the dough, about 3/4 inch deep. 
  • Bake for about an hour, until nicely browned and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack, and serve within 30 minutes. Will keep for a day or two in a sealed container or in the fridge.

Reader Comments (1)

Mmm, I just made this to go with my soup for lunch. I halved the recipe and made an almost 4″ round loaf that baked for 38-40 minutes, but otherwise did everything the same and it turned out wonderful. Thanks for sharing 😀

October 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

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