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Irish Brown Bread - simple, quick and versatile

Chef Ali Waks Adams makes a bread that can be put to many uses.

PORTLAND, Maine — Irish Brown Bread

Chef Ali Waks Adams has lived in Maine for about six years, immersing herself in the local food scene, and is a private chef, caterer and food writer. Today in the 207 kitchen at O'Maine studios, Ali prepares Irish Brown Bread. 

A simple quick bread, this hearty brown bread is eaten daily in Ireland, as part of a full Irish breakfast, as a teatime snack with Irish butter and preserves, with some lovely Irish cheeses or with smoked salmon. Left over brown bread makes a terrific Irish French Toast, just soak in a cream and egg custard with a bit of vanilla, some sugar and maybe a dash of Bailey’s Irish Cream?? Brown Bread Ice cream is a treat often found in Irish kitchens. For a semi homemade version, I crumble up stale bread toss it with melted butter and brown sugar and bake in a low oven till crunchy and then use it as a topping for vanilla ice cream, sometimes with a wee dram of Irish whisky poured over the top.

You will need:

3 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg

1 ¼ cup buttermilk OR 5 Tablespoons buttermilk powder + 1 ¼ cup water

1 tablespoon molasses

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a standard loaf pan.

Whisk together the dry ingredients (flours, salt, baking soda) in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (buttermilk, egg, molasses) make sure the egg in full incorporated.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour wet into dry. Stir to combine, then use your hands to finish, making sure everything is well combined. 

Form into a loaf and place in prepared pan.

Bake for 50 minutes or so, you’ll know it’s done when you thump the bottom and it sounds hollow. Let cool slightly before serving. Store baked bread wrapped in a clean tea towel, the bread will last for a couple of days, but can be frozen, well wrapped for up to 3 months. Enjoy!

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