O’Rourke’s Irish Brown Bread

O"Rourke's Irish Brown Bread

O”Rourke’s Irish Brown Bread

With yesterday being St. Patrick’s Day, I cooked the traditional meal of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots. and along with it I made this recipe for Irish Brown Bread.   Neither Mr. D. nor  I have a drop of Irish blood in us, yet we love this meal and I always make it  for St. Paddy’s Day.  This bread is not the usual soda bread that is frequently served with this meal, but more closely resembles the soda breads made in Ireland back in the day when such things as caraway seeds and raisins were too costly for ordinary folks to afford.

Enjoy it with a cup of tea and some fruit for an afternoon snack.

Enjoy it with a cup of tea and some fruit for an afternoon snack.

My recipe comes from a gentleman named Brian O’Rourke who is the owner of O’Rourke’s Diner in Middletown, Ct.  This old-time diner is a fixture on Main St and has been there for years. It has been featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  It is only open for breakfast and lunch, and on weekends there is always a line of people out onto the sidewalk and up the street waiting to get in.  When you are finally seated it is hard to chose your order because everything Brian cooks is so scrumptious.  He is a very generous man when approached by any group or organization for fund raisers; and so when the diner was severely damaged by a fire a few years ago the people of Middletown held fund raisers for Brian to help him rebuild the business.  When one of the local churches was putting together a cookbook of local, favorite recipes this is the one that Brian contributed.

O’ROURKE’S IRISH BROWN BREAD

Just a few ingredients with baking soda being a prominent one.

Just a few ingredients with baking soda being a prominent one.

YIELD:    Makes 2 small round loaves

INGREDIENTS

  • 2  1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup white flour
  • 1/3 cup bran or wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt.  ( I usually use about half this amount.)
  • 2  1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 Tablespoons ( half stick ) butter
  • 1  3/4 cup buttermilk

1.  In a large bowl combine flours, bran, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix well with a whisk.

2.  Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.  Stir in buttermilk and mix until dry ingredients are moistened.  Do not over mix.

3.  Shape dough into two round loaves and cut a cross in the top of each one.  This allows for expansion. Place on a greased or paper-lined baking sheet.

Shape dough into two round loaves.

Shape dough into two round loaves.

Bake at 375*F  for 40 minutes.

Fresh out of the oven, crusty and warm.

Fresh out of the oven, crusty and warm.

This bread is best served warm with lots of sweet butter to slather on it.

Butter melts into the warm bread----good beyond description!

Butter melts into the warm bread—-good beyond description!

I like that it makes two loaves, one that I freeze for later, and one that we eat right away.  This time as I made them I added raisins to the dough for one of the breads, just for some variety.  Either way  they are delicious with a tender crumb almost like a muffin.

The texture is similar to a muffin.

The texture is similar to a muffin.

SOURCE:     Brian O’Rourke,  O’Rourke’s Diner

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s