Crusty Irish Brown Bread
When I visited Ireland one of my favorite foods was the lovely brown bread served in the pubs with stew. I will admit up-front that making bread is not my greatest strength in the kitchen. But I’ve perfected the below recipe and it is fail proof, even for me. It is moist and delicious, and is perfect with any soup, salad or main course. Enjoy it this St. Patrick’s Day with friends and family with a little Guinness Spiked Irish Pie. It will be one tasty, festive meal you won’t soon forget!
1 cup All Purpose Flour (being from the South I prefer White Lily)
3 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
4 tbsp cold Butter
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup regular or quick-cooking Rolled Oats
1 1/2 cups plain nonfat Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup Buttermilk
4 tbsp nonfat Milk
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper (I always prefer parchment paper when baking if possible)
2. In a large bowl mix all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a pastry cutter or 2 knives (make your life easy and buy a pastry cutter), cut in butter until mixture forms fine crumbs. Stir in whole-wheat flour and oats.
2. Add yogurt; stir gently. Add Buttermilk. If mixture is still too dry to hold together, stir in extra buttermilk or milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, just until dough holds together; it should not be sticky.
3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface (this recipe doesn’t require rolling flat so I like to use a large, wide bowl to contain any mess) and knead gently a few times to make a ball.
4. Set on baking sheet that is greased or with parchment paper. Pat into a 7-inch circle. With a floured knife, cut a large X on top of loaf to allow it to break nicely during baking. Coat loaf with a thin layer of milk to help with browning. Note: You can also cut dough in two and make two loaves side by side on one baking sheet. Reduce cooking time to 25-30 minutes. (I made a medium and a mini loaf for my purposes below.)
5. Bake until well browned, about 40 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve warm (best when fresh out of the oven) or cool with salted butter. Enjoy!