Prep 50 mins
Cook 55 mins
A staple of Irish meals, brown bread can be served alongside soups & stews, often w/slices of Cheddar or smeared w/butter or a thick fruit jam. This adapted version comes from Colman Andrews' The Country Cooking of Ireland, an award-winning resource for regional recipes. Colman learned it from Tim Allen (a former instructor at the Ballymaloe Cookery School) & the orig recipe comes from baker Doris Grant. I found it another 1 of my Grandparents.com newsletters & think the baking tips mentioned in the directions are helpful for experienced bread makers, but esp so for bread makers less-experienced like myself. (Rising times were included in the prep time) *Enjoy!*
- 4.92 ml molasses (or treacle)
- 28.34 g fresh active dry yeast, crumbled (or a 1/4-oz packet active dry yeast)
- 1182.95 ml whole wheat flour, stone-ground (or 4 1/2 cups stone-ground whole wheat flour mixed with 1/2 cup white flour)
- 4.92 ml sea salt (fine grind)
- canola oil, for greasing (or sunflower oil)
- Dissolve the molasses or treacle in 2/3 cup warm water in a sml bowl. (Around 100F is ideal) Grant calls it “blood heat” & notes the easiest way to obtain this temp (w/o a thermometer) is: Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, add 3 cups of cold water. Stir in the yeast & set aside for 8-10 minutes (or until the yeast begins to froth).
- Put the flour into a lrg bowl & mix in the salt.
- Lightly grease a lrg non-stick loaf pan w/oil.
- Make a well in the flour, pour in the yeast mixture & let it sit for a minute. Pour in about 1 1/4 cups warm water (see above), then form your hand into a rigid claw & stir the liquid into the flour slowly but steadily in a spiral motion (starting in the middle & working outwards to the rim of the bowl). The dough should be soft & too wet to knead (add water as necessary).
- Let the dough rest in bowl in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to the greased loaf pan, cover loosely w/a damp towel & set in a warm place to rise for about 20 minutes. (“The bread should be what we call ‘proud,’” says Tim Allen, “just beginning to peer over the top of the pan.”)
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Bake the bread for 20 minutes, then lower the oven temp to 400F & bake for 35-45 minutes more. If you like a crisp crust, remove the bread from the pan about 10 minutes before it is done, then return it to the oven (placing it upside down directly on the oven rack to finish cooking).
Great quick and easy bread to bake!! I made 1/3 of the recipe and used my mini loaf pan and it was the perfect size for the two of us. This gets 5 stars just because I loved how easy it was to get the perfect temp. for proofing the yeast, worked like a charm. I used King Arthur Whole Wheat flour, so it was a nice light wheat bread. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Made for your win in the football pool!!! Congrats!!!