Irish Brown Bread

Is it possible that it is already March? Not that I’m complaining-but boy, time has been flying. March reminds me of one thing: St. Patrick’s Day. Now, I’m not a super huge partier, and while I do enjoy my beverages, that’s not what the day is all about to me. I look at it as a day to celebrate my heritage, a day to remember my family and all of the things my Grandpa taught us (while drinking a few Guinness in his honor).

So, this got me thinking- why does it have to be one day? I’m declaring March Irish Month! Well-at least here on I know what some of you are thinking already. “Blegh, Irish food. Bland and boring.” On the contrary! Irish cuisine has come a long way, and even their classic dishes are wonderful. You know what I’m not a fan of? Corned Beef and Cabbage. BLEGH! Talk about boring. So, I guess what I’m asking is that you guys and gals give me a chance to show you some amazing Irish dishes (and some Irish inspired) that will make you want to toss that corned beef and try something new this St. Patty’s Day. You may be wondering what the heck I even know about real Irish food, anyway. Well, I still have family in Ireland, and my Great Uncle happens to own a pub, with food made with fresh, local ingredients. I’ve been emailing with him and picking his brain, and a lot of these are family recipes/inspired that I’ve been making for a long time.

Now, I want to start with some good, classic Irish bread. No, not the Irish Soda Bread we think of. Irish Brown Bread. Basically a whole wheat bread made with baking soda. This dense, rich bread is not only incredible to dip into hearty stew (that’s next), but you can use it to make sandwiches (reubens,anyone?), toast it and spread with some jam, etc. I actually make this bread all year long, because it is SO easy to make. You can even make it in a toaster oven (trust me, I’ve done it). I like to make it right in my cast iron skillet, but you can use a 9in. cake pan, of course.

Irish Brown Bread Apinchadash

Irish Brown Bread Apinchadash

Irish Brown Bread

What You’ll Need:

+ 3 cups whole wheat flour

+ 1 cup all purpose flour

+ 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

+ 1 teaspoon salt

+ 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

+ 1 and 3/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine the flours, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, blend the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk, and stir until combined and a dough has formed. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and add flour if it’s still very sticky. Gently knead a few times and shape into a round loaf.Place in a greased 9 inch cake pan or cast iron pan . Cut an X in the top to allow it to rise more. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. It will be firm to the touch and brown.