Irish Brown Bread

Irish Brown bread - also referred to as Brown Soda Bread; this is very similar to the White Soda bread except for the wholemeal flour... and I love to add a few extras.


  • 1lb / 450g coarse wholemeal flour
  • 6 oz / 175g plain white flour
  • 1 rounded teaspoon bread soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ pint / 450ml buttermilk (approx.)


  • Preheat over to 400 °F / 200 °C / gas mark 6.
  • Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir in enough buttermilk to make a fairly soft dough.
  • Turn on to a work surface dusted with wholemeal flour and lightly pull together; no heavy kneading required.
  • Form into a circle, about 2" thick, and place onto a baking sheet. Mark a deep cross in the top with a knife. 
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, until bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. 
  • Cool on a wire rack and optionally wrap in a clean tea/dish towel if you want to keep the crust soft.
Optional Ingredients:

I like to add Wheatgerm and Flaxseed to my brown bread - it adds colour, complexity and of course it's good for you. Usually a few tablespoons will do but feel free to experiment. I also add a little oil which makes the bread nice and soft, lately I've been using Flax Oil as it has some additional health benefits over Olive Oil (which is also great by the way); a couple of tablespoons added along with the buttermilk.

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