When you are Irish there is nothing like the taste of ‘proper Irish’ brown bread to remind you of home. Growing up my father had a bakery and I remember the smell of freshly baked bread every time I went to see him. My mother always made fresh bread at home too, she still does. After many attempts of various recipes this is the best one by far. You don’t need to be a great cook either! This is a basic recipe which you can easily add seeds, nuts or swap in yogurt for milk. It stays fresh for 5 days or can be frozen.
Makes 2 x 2lb loaves
700g wholemeal flour
100g plain flour
4 teaspoons bread soda (sieved)
5 eggs (beaten)
2 dessertspoons oil (olive or sunflower)
1 litre buttermilk
3 dessertspoons honey (can use maple syrup or treacle too)
1. Pop the oven on to 160 degrees Celsius/Gas Mark 3 and line the 2 loaf tins.
2. In a large bowl add the flours, baking soda and oats and mix well.
3. Blend up the eggs and oil.
4. Add the wet and dry ingredients together.
5. Start to add the buttermilk bit by bit to the mixture.
6. Stir in honey and ensure all ingredients are fully mixed together.
6. Separate the mixture into the 2 tins evenly. Add a few oats for decoration.
7. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from tins and bake upside down for a further 25 minutes.
8. Ensure the loaves are properly cooked by knocking on the base of the bread. If it makes a hollow sound you know it is ready.
9. Leave on wire rack to cool.