Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Tasty Tuesday Irish Brown Bread...?
I've tried making this bread twice since I came home from Ireland. I found this recipe online, and the first time I made it with 2 cups of skim milk and a teaspoon of vinegar instead of the buttermilk, baked it for 40 minutes, and it turned out fairly well, though it was a little doughy in the middle.
The second time, I substituted one cup of the whole wheat flour with a cup of rye flour, increased the salt and sugar from 2 tsp to 3, (the bread in Ireland tasted like it contained very little of either, which I kinda missed) and used real buttermilk. Then I baked it for 40 minutes as directed.
Clearly, I should have baked it longer because although it looked lovely (see the picture below), when I sliced it after letting it cool for a while, it REALLY wasn't done in the middle. I put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes or so, but it was still pretty doughy and heavy as lead.
Then I checked the reviews. Some people loved it, while others had no luck with it at all. I looked at some other recipes, and in one of them, someone made the comment that American flour has a higher gluten content than Irish flour, and advised against kneading it, saying that you should just stir the milk in until the dough is the consistency of oatmeal and pour it into the pan.
I might try that at some point, but right now I'm too full to consider it. I'm still thinking that the buttermilk might've been the culprit, although some of the other recipes did call for less butter. Anyway, I'm posting the original version of the recipe I used. If anyone feels like experimenting, I'd love to know how it turns out.
Irish Brown Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups plain white flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp sugar
1 stick of cold butter
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together. Cut butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly. Add buttermilk gradually, stirring until a sticky dough forms. Add additional flour and knead until the dough is no longer sticky. Place dough in a buttered 9 inch pie dish and flatten it out to fill the pan. Cut a large X in the top, about 1/2 inch deep. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned and the loaf has a hollow sound when you thump it. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
If it turns out well, slather on the butter and enjoy!
If it doesn't, I recommend slathering the butter on this fellow, instead.
The choice is yours.