Irish bread

December 5, 2009

Recently I found on a blog a  recipe for the traditional Irish brown bread. My mouth started watering as I remembered how delicious it tasted. Its  texture was very special, both rough and soft. When I lived in Dublin I mostly bought brown bread. I ate it either at breakfast with home made marmelade or local honey; I liked it at lunch too  with cheese, cold meats, salads or smoked salmon. Always so tasty. And healthy ! As I read the recipe, I was reminded of the many happy moments  on Fridays  after work.  I would meet friends for an hour or two in a particular pub of Ballsbridge in Dublin.

The working week was over, everyone was planning something different for the weekend, we felt like having a break and  enjoying a simple and tasty meal. Usually we would order brown bread sandwiches, ham, cheese or salmon. Some drank tea but most of us chose a glass/pint of Guinness. The famous and great Irish Stout. Was it the perspective of being free for two days or the pleasure of sharing this Friday evening meal with friends that made this simple dinner taste so good ? Probably both.

In any case, when I read  this recipe about  the Irish brown bread I decided to bake one myself. I tried to get all the similar ingredients and started travelling back in time. Below you see the two loaves of brown bread I baked with approximatively 800gr of flour (I had to convert the measures).

Here is the recipe :

12 ozs unbleached flour

1 lb stone ground wholemeal

3 ozs bran

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons of bread soda

1 teaspoon of baking powder

about 4 1/2 dl of water

1 nob of butter

Don’t they look good ? Their smell was delicious, I tell you ! I could hardly wait to cut one of the breads and taste it ! And I when I did, I was happily surprised to find again its somewhat rough texture although my “Irish bread” was definitely  different. Of course. The flour was not the same, neither was the water used to mix the various ingredients, nor the “nob of butter”. Even the kind of heat in my oven must have been different. But the bread still tasted good and I thank the friendly baker near Tralee  and The Sand Papers  – –  who shared his recipe.

Enjoying the sun on a Sunday morning somewhere in Dublin.


9 Responses to “Irish bread”

  1. Carsten said

    Your bread recipe is worth trying Isabelle.
    You did not have to convert the measures to non standard units. Now I have to try to convert them back again :ø)

  2. Hi Carsten ! Sorry for the trouble… Actually those measures are the original ones, as on the recipe. The water is the only thing I had to figure out and add (in metric), it was not mentioned by the friendly baker 😉

  3. ancientcloth said

    Looking at your photos makes me want to
    run to the kitchen and start baking.
    Thank you for sharing your lovely story
    and the recipe. Maybe I will try it for
    the holidays : )
    What a beautiful quilt you have put on your
    blog header.

  4. iniyaal said

    Your pictures are lovely… And, your header quilt is beautiful 🙂

  5. All things nice.. said


    Oh you made homemade bread brown, my mam makes that an odd time, my grandmother use to always make homemade brown soda bread and white too. I like it best with strawberry jam, yum yum or with a friend egg 🙂

    Glad you like the old Irish recipe 🙂

    All things nice…

  6. All things nice.. said

    What is my spelling like this evening!! I meant ‘a fried egg’ not a ‘friend’ egg. Ooops haha

    All things nice…

  7. Thanks Carsten, ancientcloth, iniyaal and All things nice for visiting. I loved your comments. All things nice… I smile at your “friend egg”. Actually the gift of an egg by a friend is probably just as good as a fried egg 😉

  8. Lovely bread and memories to go along with it!

  9. Irish bread is good, yes, but I also remember the delicious bread baked in a bread oven in Jounieh. I spread it with the local “fromage blanc” (curd cheese ?). It tasted so good at breakfast !

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