Replicating the brown bread of my childhood, posed a challenge for me when
I first moved to the United States. American whole wheat flour is ground far
finer, than its Irish counterpart. It does not produce a distinctive, large-crumb,
brown bread. So I had to get my thinking cap on, to come up with ingredients
to mimic the coarse grind of Irish wholewheat flour. My solution is to add wheat
germ, wheat bran and milled flaxseed to American wholewheat flour. .
Brown bread is a great accompaniment to a Guinness beef stew, a hearty soup
or just perfect on its own, slathered in butter.
• 2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (white cake flour may be substituted
for a slightly less dense bread)
• 1/2 cup wheat germ
• 1/2 cup ground flax seed
• 1/2 cup wheat bran
• 3 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3 teaspoons brown sugar (add a few more teaspoons if you like a sweeter
bread – honey can be substituted.)
• 1 and 3/4 cup buttermilk
• 1/2 cup greek yogurt
• 2 tablespoons butter (1/4 stick)
• 1 egg
• 1 egg white (optional – to brush top of loaf or brush with extra
• 1 tablespoon dry oatmeal (optional – used to sprinkle top of loaf
• Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 10 inch round baking pan.
• Add the whole wheat flour to a large mixing bowl. Sift the whole wheat
pastry flour or white bread flour, together with the baking soda into the mixing
• Add the wheat germ, flaxseed, wheat bran, salt and brown sugar. Mix
all of the dry ingredients together.
• Melt the butter in a glass pitcher in the microwave. Mix the buttermilk,
yogurt, melted butter and egg together in a separate bowl.
• Add the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix well together to create a
slightly “wet” mixture, that does not require kneading. Transfer
to the prepared pan.
• Press lightly down into the pan with floured hands or the back of a
• Score the top of the bread with a cross, marking the loaf into four
quarters. Brush the top with beaten egg white or buttermilk and sprinkle with
dry oatmeal if desired.
• Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. The bread is baked when tapped underneath
and it has a hollow sound.
• Wrap in a clean dish towel and allow to cool on a wire tray. Wrapping
the bread as it cools helps prevent the crust getting too hard.