No matter what time of day you pay a visit to the McGrath house in Ballyragget, County Kilkenny, Ireland, you will be greeted with a cup of tea and a slice of warm Irish Brown Bread. At breakfast one morning Kathleen, as she is locally called, explained that the bread was easily made, and proceeded to make a fresh loaf before I had finished my coffee. She was very happy to share her recipe with me. -Mary Ann Muska
Irish Brown Bread
1 pint brown flour (whole meal flour)
½ pint buttermilk
1 teaspoon (level) bread soda/baking soda
Pinch of salt
Grease a 2 pound loaf pan, generously
Method: Sieve baking soda into brown flour. Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the egg and buttermilk into the dry ingredients and mix well. The batter should look like porridge. Pour into the well-greased pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then turn down oven to 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Turn out onto wire tray to cool.
For a softer bread replace ¼ of the brown flour with plain white flour. If buttermilk is unavailable substitute with milk and yogurt to same quantity. Add nuts or porridge oats to dry ingredients if desired (2 tablespoons approximately) and you may sprinkle some on top before baking.