Saturday, September 24, 2011

Irish (No-Rise) Brown Bread

There's pretty much nothing better in the world than fresh baked bread.  Growing up, my dad made almost all of our bread and I remember my sisters and me devouring half a loaf before it even had time to cool! Taking after my dad, lately I've been making almost all of our bread at home (except I haven't been able to master the French baguette...yet!).  Each bread recipe does take quite a bit of time to make, albeit inactive time, so I love having a no-rise bread recipe up my sleeve that's hardly any time from start to oven.

I found this Irish brown bread recipe months ago and made it for St. Patrick's Day.  Since it was so good, I didn't want to confine it to just once a year.  So right before dinner last week, I whipped up the ingredients and threw the bread into the oven.  While we ate dinner, our bread baked and afterwards, we were able to have fresh bread and honey for dessert.

This recipe doesn't call for any yeast proofing, rising time OR kneading (really, it couldn't get much easier!).  Obviously, it doesn't have the same fluffy crumb as yeast breads but I really enjoyed how hearty it was.  It's best when you use denser flours, like whole wheat, spelt, oat flour, wheat germ, etc, which also just so happen to be better for you.

Irish Brown Bread
Taken from: Brown Eyed Baker
Makes 1 loaf
  • 1 cup + 1½ teaspoons whole wheat flour (spelt flour could probably be used here)
  • ½ cup + 1½ teaspoons wheat bran, oat bran or wheat germ, or a combination (I was out of oat bran so I ground rolled oats in a food processor to make oat flour)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon molasses (I don't have molasses so I used dark brown sugar but I bet honey would work as well!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and put it on the center oven rack.
  2. Whisk together the whole wheat flour and oat bran/wheat germ/etc in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the wheat flour mixture and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the butter pieces and rub them into small pieces with the flour mixture using your fingers, until as small as possible.
  5. Stir in the buttermilk and molasses until the dough is uniformly damp. Turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead gently, until the dough forms a smooth ball.
  6. Use a sharp serrated knife to slice a cross deeply into the top of the bread, about 1-inch deep. Place the loaf on the hot baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the loaf is firm on top and when you tap the bottom, feels hollow.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for before serving.


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