Saturday Morning Bread Adventure, Part 1: Irish Brown Bread

Saturday Morning Bread Adventure, Part 1: Irish Brown Bread

Baking bread is something entirely new for me. I have baked dozens of cakes and cookies in my life, but until yesterday never tried baking a bread from scratch. One reason for this is that I grew up in southern Germany, where you find good bakeries in abundance. During the first twenty years of my life wherever I lived there was always a good bakery in less than five minutes walking distance. The bakeries had a great selection. If you can choose from a broad range of tasty, fresh-baked, non-expensive bread you don’t necessarily think of baking some yourself.

Since I have moved to the States it has become more difficult for me to buy good bread. A lot of the bread here has a sweetness I don’t particularly like and while I was living in New Jersey I rarely enjoyed eating bread. However, when we moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, we were lucky to move to a neighborhood that does not only have beautiful parks and trails, which are ideal for walking your dog, but also a couple of good bakeries! Unfortunately they have a very small selection of bread though and after a while it gets a little boring. Therefore I have been looking for good bread recipes. I am hoping to find a few that I like, so that on Saturday mornings I can bake our own bread. The perfect recipe has to involve not too much preparation time and ingredients that are fairly easy to get. I will share with you those recipes that I try and hopefully there will be some that become regular staples!

The first recipe I have chosen is Irish and was published in an issue of the journal ‘Food & Wine’ (

Irish Brown Bread


3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg

1.) Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Butter an 8-by-5-inch metal loaf pan.

2.) In a large bowl, whisk both flours with the baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the
buttermilk with the egg; stir into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until a rough dough

3.) Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth.
Form the dough into a loaf and put it in the prepared pan.

4.) Bake for about 50 minutes, until the bread has risen about 1/2 inch above the rim of the pan. Once unmolded, the loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let cool to warm or room temperature, then slice and serve.


+ easy to make
+ fast
+ few ingredients
+ nice, but not amazing taste
– this bread really depends on the quality of the flour, with supermarket flour it is just an ‘okay bread’, but not a great bread
– too dense

Well, this was the first try! Next Saturday there’ll be a new bread and a new recipe!

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