- 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.