under 1 hour
1 loaf
When you want a good fresh loaf of bread - in only one hour! - try this splendid Irish Brown Bread. It's perfect with butter and jam, or a good sharp cheese, or toasted with peanut butter.
  • 400 g coarse whole wheat flour
  • 50 g white all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 425 ml (15 oz) warmish water
  • 1 Tablespoon dark molasses

I began with a recipe for Irish Brown Bread from the Ballymaloe Cookery School, in Ballymaloe, Ireland,  as recorded by noted baker and blogger David Lebovitz. I adapted it to my kitchen, where I mill my own wheat and rely on the convenience of instant yeast.

If you don’t mill your own grain, use a good quality whole wheat flour. Find the freshest flour you can, preferably stone-ground. To get a coarser texture, you can replace up to 4 tablespoons of the whole what flour with wheat germ. Irish coarse wholemeal flour is available from Amazon.

I knew at the outset I’d be making a hearty loaf full of flavor – this is no shy dainty bread! It’s also dead easy, requiring only a bowl and a spoon to mix, and goes together quickly. You can stir up this bread within 5 minutes, and be eating it an hour later. And there’s no kneading!

dump and mix

Mix the flours with the salt and the instant yeast in a medium bowl. Add the molasses to the warm water, then add the liquid mixture to the flours, and stir until a thick sludgy batter is formed. I like to use my dough whisk for this, it makes the job easier, and it goes quickly.

The batter should be the consistency of porridge. Let the bowl of dough stand for 10 minutes or so, while you get the pan ready.

prep the bread pan

Prepare a bread pan: heavily butter a standard loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3 inches). Be sure to grease the pan all the way to the top; this dough will try to stick to the pan if it can.

into the pan and let rise

Scrape the dough into the prepared bread pan, and smooth the top. If it’s very sticky, wet your hand with water and simply pat the top of the loaf into shape. Drape a clean kitchen towel lightly over the top, and let the dough rise in a warm place 20 minutes or so, until the dough just peeks over the edges of the pan.

into a  preheated oven

Partway through the bread rise, preheat the oven to 450˚F / 230˚C. When the dough is just barely over the edges of the pan, remove the towel (of course!) and bake the bread for 20 minutes.

turn down temp, bake out of pan

After 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 400˚F / 200˚C. Take the bread out of the oven temporarily, run a knife along the edges of the loaf pan to free the bread, and tip the loaf out of the pan. Put the loaf upside-down on right on the oven rack, and let it bake another 15 minutes, or until the bread is done.

test for doneness, then cool on rack

Done, for this bread, means that the loaf will sound hollow when you tap the bottom, or, if you’re using an instant-read thermometer, the temperature at the center should read 190˚F/88˚C. Let the bread cool on a wire rack.


Thanks to David Lebovitz for his fine post on Ballymaloe’s bread. Check out his photos! I know he’d be happy that this bread has become a staple in my family’s kitchen. 


5 Responses

  1. Maurita, this bread is delicious and so darned easy to make! My 10 year old grandson loves it – we all do! Believe it or not, I don’t own bread pans so I was searching for something that would work. When Mom died, I got her 3 tiered set of springform pans for wedding cakes. I used the 6 inch one – it fit my dough perfectly and of course, I had no problem removing the bread from the pan! My grandson, Alex, said, “Nana that looks like a muffin for a giant!”

    • What a great solution! I’ll note in my files that a 6-inch pan works well. Thanks for letting me know.

  2. Maurita When I clicked on the icon for “print,” it only printed to “1 tab. dark molasses” Can this be fixed?

    • Judi, I’m so sorry! I’ll get my theme designers working on it! In the meantime, I’ll email the recipe to you, since your comment shows me your email address.

    • The printing problem is fixed!!

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