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Pat O'Brien's Favorite Irish Brown Bread

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  • 4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • About 1 1/4 cups buttermilk


  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients; add enough buttermilk to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn out on lightly floured board; knead lightly. Form dough into a circle; place in greased 9-inch baking pan or on greased baking sheet. The dough should be about 1 1/2 to 2 inches high. Cut a cross 1/2 inch deep over the top with a floured knife. This helps bread cook more evenly.
  3. Bake in preheated 400 degree F oven for 40 minutes, or until loaf sounds hollow when rapped lightly on the base with the knuckles.
  4. Remove bread from pan; cool on a wire cake rack. Bread should not be cut until it firms up.
  5. Toast it for breakfast or tea; spread lavishly with butter.

Source: Eloise O'Brien (his wife)