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Easy Irish Brown Bread slice topped with butter on a square white plate

Easy Irish Brown Bread

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One of my favorite gustatory memories from our trip to Ireland was the Irish Brown Bread served at every pub. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, but easy enough to make all year long!

Easy Irish Brown Bread loaf and slices on a white tray

Easy Irish Brown Bread

Besides my jet lagged driver taking a nap while behind the steering wheel as we were driving to our first destination while shifting with his non-dominant hand, on the wrong side of the road, our trip to Ireland was full of magical moments.

The pastel facades of the village storefronts, the peacocks roaming our countryside bed and breakfast, the brilliant greens of the hills, and the hearty, easy Irish brown bread I searched out on every pub menu are all crisp memories of our visit.  Especially that Irish soda bread. Each establishment had its own recipe, but all were slightly sweet, dense, and wonderful.

Easy Irish Brown Bread slice topped with butter on a square white plate

Tips for Making Irish Brown Bread AKA Irish Soda Bread

Upon our return, I tried a few recipes, but none hit the spot until spotting this Bon Appetit version of Irish brown bread.  It’s wonderful on St. Patrick’s Day and every other day of the year!!

  • If you’re worried about your bread releasing from the pan, you can also put a rectangle of parchment in the bottom. Grease the top before adding the batter.
  • Let the bread cool 15 minutes before releasing it onto a wire rack to let it fully cool.
  • Baking soda does not expire as quickly as baking powder, but if you’re concerned mix a little with some vinegar. You should see some vigorous bubbling when your baking soda is fresh.
  • Do not use a mixer or over mix the ingredients  when making this Irish soda bread, or any other quick bread, as this will create tunnels and a tougher end result.
  • PRO-Tip: If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can easily make it at home. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a 1 cup liquid measuring cup. Then fill with milk to the one cup mark, wait a few minutes until it curdles, then measure out the amount needed for your recipe.
  • Sprinkle some oats on top of the dough if you want a little more pizzazz for your loaf!

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Irish Brown Bread | A hearty, healthy quick bread recipe

Easy Irish Brown Bread

Dense, delicious Irish Soda Bread made with whole wheat flour

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Bread, Quick Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Irish

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons wheat bran
  • 3 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425º. Butter 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add butter, and rub into dry mixture with fingers till it resembles cornmeal. Stir in buttermilk and mix to form a soft dough…being careful not to over-mix the batter.
  3. Place dough into loaf pan. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool on rack.

Notes

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

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24 comments on “Easy Irish Brown Bread”

  1. Wow! A trip to Ireland. How wonderful. That bread looks delicious. I would slap on a ton of butter and call it breakfast.

  2. looks delicious never had brown bread… or heard of it till this year…I guess I will have to investigate … yum!

  3. Sounds like a memorable trip you had in Ireland, Lizzy. Such a sweet post!
    Your brown bread looks so healthy and absolutely amazing, I would love to make this, sound like an easy recipe, and you can’t go wrong with Bon Appetit!
    xoxo

  4. Lizzy, the brown bread is such an healthy choice! I would like to inform you that I have pass an award to you, please drop by my blog to pick up when you are free. Cheers!

  5. What a healthy sounding loaf of bread. Sounds like you had a memorable and delicious trip. You’re so lucky to have been able to go to Ireland.

  6. Oh I love that you made brown bread. That is one of my absolute favorites! Spread on some Kerrygold butter and you have haven on a plate. Another recipe bookmarked..lol!
    Brandie

  7. I love baking bread, especially I love dark breads. Definitely gotta try this one! Buttermilk surely fits well with that kind of bread!
    Gotta see where to buy bran/germ! 🙂

    • Can you make this recipe in a bread machine?

      • Hi, Ginny,

        Since this is not a yeast bread, it’s super simple to make. Everything is just mixed in one bowl and baked in a loaf pan. Quick breads like this will not work in a bread machine, unfortunately. Hope you’ll still give it a try!

  8. hmmm… I’m always intrigued when it comes to making bread. I keep doing it over and over again simply because I haven’t been able to bake normal bread properly. I did a few times but they were not perfect. I’d like to try this one out. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  9. Your photos alone made this an awesome post. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  10. Thanks so much, everyone…I wish I had another loaf! And thanks, Ah Tze, for the lovely award…what an honor!!!

  11. I’ve never had brown bread. It looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  12. I’ve never had brown bread, actually never heard of it until now. Looks great tho. Thanks for sharing Lizzy

  13. You have me thinking that I need to make this for dinner tomorrow night.

  14. I don’t think I’ve ever had Irish Brown Bread, but I’ve never met a bread I didn’t like! I would definitely love to try it… sounds great!

  15. i lovvve the brown bread in ireland! thanks for posting!
    -meg
    @ http://clutzycooking.blogspot.com

  16. Looks delish, Lizzy. I don’t believe I’ve ever tried it. I’ll have to do something about that!

  17. Wow, the Irish Soda Bread looked really good but this sounds amazing! I want to start making more breads at home…this will have to be one of them.

  18. Finally! I’ve been searching high and low since we were in Ireland in 2007 for this recipe!
    The closest yet!!!
    Thank you!

  19. I love the sweetness in this and oats, sounds perfect with my lamb stew? I never had it so its time to try it!

  20. Thanks for this recipe. I absolutely love Irish brown bread. Today I am making your recipe and 2 others. I want to compare. I’m excited to try yours.
    Going to give a couple loaves to my family members who are from Ireland.
    Thanks again for sharing
    Your loaves are in the oven as I write this.
    Nic

  21. This is a perfect brown bread recipe, love the texture!

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