I have been making this bread every week for the last 20 years or so.
I first started making it around 1992 as that is the copyright date of the cookbook I found the recipe in: “Ireland – Grand Places, Glorious Food Cookbook”.
There are 2 brown soda bread recipes in the book, both ‘traditional’ and almost identical. Both are stir, pour and bake breads using round roasting or baking tins. Neither are a stiff dough and no kneading is required.
My recipe has changed slightly over the years, reflecting the ingredients I have access to. The original recipe calls for bran flakes and buttermilk; I use wheat germ and plain yogurt.
Our daily ritual is to stop whatever we are working on in the early evening, make a pot of tea and relax, watching TV for 90 minutes or so before I start cooking dinner. With the tea we have a bit of brown bread.
I cut the entire loaf in half and freeze one half. The other half lasts us 3 days.
Irish Brown Soda Bread
Total time: 60 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups (6.4oz, 190gr) whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup (2.25oz, 70gr) white flour
- 2 heaping tbs oatmeal
- 1 heaping tbs wheat germ
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 heaping tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (6oz, 180ml) plain or Greek yogurt
- 1 1/4 cup (10oz, 300ml) milk measurements aren’t precise, just equal 2 cups
- Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
- Butter and flour the pan. I use an 9″ (25cm) round baking pan with 2″ (5cm) sides for this.
- Put all dry ingredients into a deep bowl.
- Add the butter and cut in with a pastry cutter, fork or 2 knives until well blended.
- Stir the yogurt and milk together, then stir the mixture into the flour and mix well.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and tip out of pan on to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Slice and serve or allow to cool completely.
The cookbook features country house and castle hotels of Ireland and recipes from the chefs of the hotel restaurants.
I don’t remember if I bought the cookbook in Ireland – it’s possible as we were there in 1992, or if I bought it on PBS Action Auction.
Does anyone remember Action Auction?
Is PBS still around?
When we lived in the US we watched a lot of shows on PBS. They always had the best documentaries and often had concerts as well.
I don’t remember if they did the traditional fundraising events – the kind with banks of phone operators accepting donations, but I do remember their auctions.
Stuff was donated by various businesses, then auctioned off, live, over the phone during breaks in whatever one was watching.
The auctions were on Saturday night and we watched while having a glass of wine and cooking dinner.
A relaxed atmosphere is conducive to impulse shopping…..
Over the years we bought everything from a PC (yes, a computer) to books to cd’s and dvd’s and I’m sure there were other, more, ahem, esoteric items for the house.
The money went to support something we enjoyed and believed in and it was a lot more fun than just sending a check.
Seems so primitive now…. watching a television while being on the phone (connected by a wire to the wall) to a person placing our bids for us.
Ah….. The good old days….
Try the bread – it’s easy and quick enough to make at the last minute to go with a bowl of chili.