We went all out for St. Patrick's Day this year. Usually, wearing green is about as celebratory as we get--but this year we baked not one, but TWO St. Patrick's Day treats! And both were amazing. Perhaps second only to the St. Patrick's Day we spent actually IN Ireland...that is kind of hard to top.
First St. Patrick's Day treat: Irish Brown Bread. Have you had it? It was served at every B&B we stayed in when we were in Ireland, and it was amazing. This recipe below is close, but not quite authentic. It has to do with the type of flour used. Irish flour is ground a bit differently, so the texture of the bread isn't quite the same. I used plain whole wheat flour, but there are places online you can order Irish style whole mill flour (here, for one).
Irish Brown Bread
adapted from the book Ireland Memories by Patricia Preston
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1.5 cups buttermilk
2 tsp. olive oil
1. Butter or spray with cooking spray a bread loaf pan and preheat oven to 300 degrees F (yes, 300!!).
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, wheat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, olive oil, and egg. Add to dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Batter should be like a thick cake batter. If needed, thin with a bit of buttermilk. Stir lightly and quickly so that the batter remains light and airy.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 1 hour.
Tomorrow: Blarney Stones!