My parents went to Ireland this past September and, upon their return, my mom raved about the bread, specifically some homemade soda bread she had at a small, family owned pub. Anyways, when I came across this recipe for Irish Mum's Brown Bread, I bookmarked it with her in mind. Although the bread she was eating in Ireland was made from entirely white flour, my mom usually prefers whole wheat, so I thought this would be perfect.
I followed the recipe exactly, so I won't bother re-typing it. I will, however, put notes about what I thought/did in the process.
Irish Mum's Brown Bread Recipe
- I used regular whole wheat bread flour.
- I used regular, salted butter.
- I was a bit confused about what texture I was aiming for. The recipe says you can either make a free formed loaf, or use a tin. I went with the tin idea, in which case it said the dough should be pourable...like brownie batter. Anyways, mine was far from brownie batter, but I was getting nervous adding so much extra buttermilk, so I stopped partway between the two...I probably added at least a 1/2 cup of additional buttermilk.
- I used a glass loaf pan with parchment paper, so I lowered the temperature and baked it at 375F for an hour to keep the top from burning before the rest was cooked through. It could have used a bit more time in the oven, and I recommend waiting, but I was impatient...oh well, it just meant the bread was moist.
I really like this recipe— it is so simple and the bread is very dense and substantial. I love how crusty it is too. I would not call this a flavourful bread (not like making Cinnamon Oatmeal Bread, for instance) but my mom assures me soda bread usually isn't...so let's just hope she's not lying to make me feel better. Even if she is, I still liked it and she said she loved it, especially with sweeter toppings, like fruit jam; however, she had to admit it wasn't quite the same as eating in Ireland...not surprising. The bigger triumph was that my dad liked it and ate two hefty slices that night. Given, he smothered them in butter and ate it with his beef stew, but this is not unusual and, meh, I'll take what I can get.