Brown Soda bread

There are about as many different recipes for brown soda bread as there are families in Ireland. I picked this one for a change from my stock recipe and also for its lovely texture, sturdy crust, nutty taste and beautiful crumb. This bread is a birthright, no matter your heritage. Because I guarantee you’re going to feel Irish when you try a slice.
Soda breads are one of those lovely, quick, and satisfying bakes that, fortunately, are often made with grainy goodness and therefore require not too much guilt. This brown soda bread was just that much nicer, with the greek yoghurt ( buttermilk if you can get it ) and oats lending a moistness that keeps it on the right side of crumbly. The wet, shaggy batter mixes up easily and very quickly, so you could decide to make this in the afternoon and have it done for dinner. It is an authentic Irish classic and made with everyday ingredients, including flour, oats, eggs, and greek yoghurt ( buttermilk if you can get it ) The molasses is optional. I think of knowing how to make it as like an Irish birthright. It’s authentic and traditional and quick and easy.
The absence of yeast means that this won’t be an elastic dough. Instead, what you’ll end up with is much closer to a batter than a dough. When you’re mixing the dough, it’s gonna be sticky. Really sticky. Just take a deep breath and keep mixing—and don’t add more flour. An undermixed dough will get you a craggy crust if that’s your thing, but with a little more elbow grease, your loaf will achieve a higher rise and less of a crumbly texture. So my advice would be to continue stirring until you have no obvious streaks of ingredients left.

Brown Soda bread
2 3/4 cups whole-wheat (wholemeal) flour 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking soda 
Pinch salt 
2/3 cup rolled oats, plus more for sprinkling 
2 extra-large eggs 
2 teaspoons sunflower oil, plus more for the pan 
2 tablespoons molasses (optional) 
2 cups buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat), 
or plain yogurt or milk mixed with the juice of 1 lemon 

Handful seeds or oats, for sprinkling 
Butter, honey, preserves, or some other spreadable thing, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC) if making a loaf and 350°F (180°C) if making rolls. Lightly oil a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan or 12-cup muffin tin,if you want to make rolls instead

Toss the flours, baking soda, salt, and oats in a large bowl and mix well.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the oil. If a sweeter, darker bread is desired, add the 2 tablespoons molasses. Gently stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Then gently stir in the buttermilk. The mixture may be sticky.
If making a single loaf, turn the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a wet spoon. Sprinkle some seeds or oats across the top, if desired, and then bake for 1 hour. After the hour has elapsed, remove the bread from the pan. If a crustier loaf of bread is desired, transfer the loaf to a baking sheet, return it to the oven, and bake for 20 minutes more. If making multiple rolls, spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 15 to 25 minutes.
Allow the loaf to cool on a wire rack before serving. The brown soda bread is best when served with a lashings of butter, honey, preserves, or any combination thereof. It will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.


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