Irish Brown Bread

 One of my favorite gustatory memories from our trip to Ireland was the Irish Brown Bread served at every pub.Irish Brown Bread | A hearty, healthy quick bread recipe

An Irish Favorite

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 brown bread I searched out on every pub menu…all crisp memories of our visit.  Especially that bread. Each establishment had its own recipe, but all were sweet, dense, and wonderful.

Irish Brown Bread | A hearty, healthy quick bread recipe

Bon Appetit to the Rescue

Upon our return, I tried a few recipes, but none hit the spot till this Bon Appetit version.  It’s wonderful on St. Patrick’s Day and every other day of the year!!
Irish Brown Bread | Make a fabulous loaf of Irish soda bread at home!!

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Irish Brown Bread

Serves 1 loaf     adjust servings

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Dense, delicious Irish Soda Bread made with whole wheat 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


  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.


Recipe Notes

Adapted from Bon Appetit
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per ServingAs Served
Calories 1324kcal Calories from fat 323
% Daily Value
Total Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 19g95%
Transfat 1g
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 2205mg92%
Carbohydrate 218g73%
Dietary Fiber 31g124%
Sugars 42g
Protein 52g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Total FatLess than65g
Sat FatLess than25g
CholesterolLess than300mg
SodiumLess than2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate300g
Dietary Fiber25g
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  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. Pegasuslegend says:

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

  3. Elisabeth says:

    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!

  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. The Country Cook says:

    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!

  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! 🙂

  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. Stephanie says:

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

  12. Green Girl says:

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

  13. All That's Left Are The Crumbs says:

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

  14. Looks delicious!!!

  15. 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!

  16. Meaghan Luby says:

    i lovvve the brown bread in ireland! thanks for posting!

  17. ButterYum says:

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

  18. 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.

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

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