Easy Irish Brown Bread

 In Bread, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Recipes, Snacks

Easy Irish Brown Bread

I can’t take full credit for this recipe.  I found this version of Irish Brown Bread and I “American-ized”* it.  But, in the spirit of St. Patty’s Day, I wanted to pay tribute to a small piece of my heritage.

Easy Irish Brown Bread

Until late last year, I assumed I was predominately German.  That’s what my parents had told me since I was old enough to understand what ancestry was.  I believed them since my last name was Spiegel (meaning “mirror” in German).  My mother’s maiden name meant “people” in German and her mother’s maiden name was Sauer (as in ‘kraut).

However, for my birthday, I asked my Dad for the 23 and Me Health and Ancestry assessment.  I assumed he’d laugh at the request since it was a little outside the box.  (Normally, I ask for a handbag I can’t afford).  To my surprise and delight, he obliged.  And was so excited about it, he participated, too.

His results came back first.  We were all a bit stunned to learn he was 32% British and Irish.  But, I guess most of us whose predecessors emigrated from Western Europe are a little bit of everything.

But this meant that some percentage of my DNA was also Irish.  I was ecstatic!  Finally, I can say “Kiss Me.  I’m Irish!” and mean it.

When the email came with my results, I could hardly wait to open it!  It turns out, I am 55% German and 10% Irish.  The remainder of my DNA is classified as “broadly European.”  I’ll admit I was hoping there would be some shocking surprise in my DNA, like African or Asian.  But, no.  I still wasn’t disappointed, though.  It was fun to learn about my ancestors’ journey to today.

Have you ever researched your ancestry?  Did you learn anything new, interesting or shocking?  I can’t tell you the number of stories I’ve heard about people locating lost family members or discovering half-siblings.  It’s amazing!

Anyway, to honor that 10% of my heritage, I present American-ized Irish Brown Bread.  Enjoy!

Easy Irish Brown Bread

* I used whole wheat flour rather than the traditional Irish flour, which is a red wheat and is coarse ground.  The Irish use treacle; I used molasses.

Easy Irish Brown Bread


  • Prep Time: 50m
  • Cook Time: 20m
  • Total Time: 1h 10m


  • 17 ounces whole wheat flour (that's about 3 ½ cups, but I strongly urge you to weigh it if you have a scale)
  • 2 1/2 ounces bread flour (about ½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2/3 cup + 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

How To Do It

  1. In a large bowl, weigh and whisk together the flours and salt with a fork.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the molasses in 2/3 cup warm water, then stir in the yeast. Allow to sit about 10 minutes.
  3. Grease a 9x5-inch dark loaf pan with oil or butter.
  4. After 10 minutes, pour the yeast mixture and another 1 cup of warm water into the flour mixture and stir. When the dough gets tough to stir, use your hands to knead until a uniform ball forms. It should not be overly sticky. If it sticks to your hands, use more flour until it comes off with ease.
  5. Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf pan, pressing it into the corners of the pan and ensuring an even layer on top.
  6. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow to rise about 40 minutes or until the dough reaches nearly to the top of the pan.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (F).
  8. Bake the loaf about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, run a knife around the edges and turn the loaf out onto an oven-safe rack. Tap the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow and the bread springs back when you press it, it\'s done. If not, place back in the oven (upside down on the rack) for another 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.
  10. Store the bread in a sealed container at room temperature for up to four days.
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