We all have flavors that remind us of home, and for my Irish husband, that taste is brown bread. For readers that want to bake this crumbly loaf at home, I recommend King Arthur Flour’s Irish-Style Flour, available online. This coarsely ground flour provides the perfect texture for a traditional loaf of Irish brown bread.
I wrote about my infatuation with this style of bread recently for TASTE, in a story called Brown Bread is the Spine of Ireland. The story begins: “I’ve spent the last 10 years getting to know brown bread intimately. What began as a breakfast obsession—crumbly slice topped with smoked salmon and a squeeze of lemon—evolved into a lunch essential (tucked alongside a crock of seafood chowder). Without this unfussy staple spread with soft butter, my Irish kitchen would be incomplete.”
Brown bread is a rewarding loaf, easy to make, and requires no special skills to achieve its thick, crunchy crust and tender interior. It requires no rising time and is equally as delicious right out of the oven or toasted the next day. It’s particularly fragrant when it’s baking and is forgiving for first-time bakers (a few minutes too long in the oven doesn’t change the outcome very much).
Happy baking! (Recipe in the link above)