Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Irish Brown Bread


A slightly sweet loaf with a course crust (recipe from King Arthur's Flour)

4 cups (13 1/2 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) buttermilk (if batter appears dry
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) vegetable oil or melted butter (1 ounce)

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk and the oil or butter. Stir together until blended—some lumps will remain. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead about 10 times, or until it all holds together. Form it into a large ball and place it on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cut a deep cross in the top. Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until it tests done (a cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean.) Yield: 1 large round loaf, 10 to 12 inches in diameter.

Note: If you use non pastry grade whole grain flour, you may wish to add additional liquid, up to 1/2 cup.

Shortcut: There are few times I recommend a "mix" for any recipe but this is one where I will. Bob's Red Mill Brand at http://www.bobsredmill.com/ has a Soda Bread Flour Mix that is superlative You add, egg, liquid, and oil to it and it turns like, just like the above recipe, but the whole grain flour and leavening are already in there. Most grocers in the Midwest carry it in the baking aisle and I would bet it is available elsewhere. All of their products are EXCELLENT. With Penzey's probably the second biggest product line I use.
It makes a generous 8 inch loaf.

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