Monday, November 9, 2009

One Irish Breakfast, Hold the Heart Attack

Last week's Thursday brunch was more practice for "Unprocessed". Traditional Irish breakfast includes baked beans, brown bread, a fried egg, broiled tomatoes, and a several big, greasy sausages. I lightened it up a little. Baked beans included homemade ketchup -- recipe to come. It's easier than you think! Our egg was poached, and we eliminated the pork fat all together. There's nothing I love more than lard encased in intestine (seriously), but it doesn't seem to fit into daily eating. Brown bread was surprisingly easy. I borrowed a recipe from Mark Bittman's blog, Bitten.

Margaret Hickey’s Irish Brown Bread
Yield 1 loaf

3 cups extra coarse wholemeal flour
1 cup oat bran
3 tablespoons wheat germ
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg, beaten
2 cups milk

1. Combine first seven ingredients and fluff together with hands to mix in the baking soda and baking powder completely.
2. Add egg and milk and stir to combine until it has the consistency and appearance of oatmeal.
3. Spray and flour a 9” round baking pan. Pour in batter and score the top with a cross. (“You’re wishing the bread well as it goes into the oven,” says Margaret.)
4. Bake at 380 degrees for one hour. Cool on a rack completely before cutting. Can be kept out for a day or two, but otherwise needs to be refrigerated or frozen.

I took their suggestion and substituted buttermilk for the milk, giving it a slightly zippier feeling. I also subbed out 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour and instead used ground flaxseed. Flaxseed is high in fiber, omega-3s, and phytonutrients -- making it great for your digestive tract, skin, hair and nails. Use it in baking recipes like this one or sprinkle it on oatmeal or yogurt. I store mine in the freezer to extend the shelf life. Even with the best of intentions, it's difficult to eat a 14 ounce bag before it would go rancid sitting on the counter. Brown bread is the perfect treat when you are looking for a compact, efficient colon broom!

Just in case you think we've lost our midwestern sensibilities, note the pint of Guinness -- requisite for breakfast.


  1. yum! so thats why Irish eyes shine!

  2. Thanks for posting this recipe!! It’s an excellent bread I’ve been making since 1973 – when I found Myrtle Allen’s recipe in Beard On Bread. Beard’s version doesn’t have any white flour and more salt(too much salt really). I sometimes use honey instead of molasses if that’s what I have on hand.
    I’m glad more people will be able to try this recipe!

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