irish brown bread for st. patrick’s day

Mar 17


Kylemore Abbey Scones and Irish Brown Bread–two of the most memorable baked goods I had in Ireland last year.  When we returned from our trip, I just knew I had to find a recipe for both!

With “divine intervention” I was able to find THE recipe for the scones, which I got directly from their website!  Check out my post on Kylemore Abbey’s famous scones.

The Irish brown bread was harder to find.  Thinking of Irish Soda Bread, I started with that search criteria.  There were too many conflicting search results.  Many of the results were Irish Soda Bread, which is a direct reference to the baking soda leavening agent used in this bread.  Equally disappointing was that most of these Irish Soda Bread recipes contained raisins, which I know wasn’t in any of the brown breads that I had.  The brown bread I had in Ireland was moist, crumbly, and most distinguishable contained a lovely nutty flavor.  Most often, it was served with a very satiny, but not too rich veg soup.

So I limited my search on just Irish Brown Bread, without the word “soda”–and after scanning two pages of search results, one caught my eye.  It must have been faith or even divine intervention again?!  The website URL was  Our trip to Ireland last year was because my very own Sissy married an Irish farmer!  I knew that I wouldn’t have to search any further and that this was the recipe. a.k.a Farmette, is a lovely blog written by Imen.  I encourage you to visit her blog–It contains beautiful photos and tasty recipes,  which are all intertwined with heartfelt accounts of her adventures in Ireland.

I’ve made her Irish Brown Bread a number of times and my family loves it!  I did have to purchase Irish-style wholemeal flour, but trust me this is one ingredient that cannot be substituted.

The recipe below is a result of a few adjustments to Imen’s recipe.  Mostly because I didn’t want to use up all of my cherished wholemeal flour.  However, you can find the original recipe for her Irish Brown Bread on her website.

Irish Brown Bread

Serves 12
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Meal type Bread
Region Irish
Website Adapted from Farmette
Irish brown bread that is crumbly and moist with a lovely nutty flavor due to the wholemeal flour. Baking soda is the leavening agent used in this bread.


  • 138g Irish-style wholemeal flour
  • 138g whole wheat pastry flour
  • 175g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 40g unsalted butter (cubed slightly chilled)
  • 450ml buttermilk
  • 1 egg (large)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon honey


Step 1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Step 2 in a large bowl, sift all-purpose flour, salt, and baking soda.
Step 3 Mix in wholemeal and whole wheat pastry flour.
Step 4 Cut in butter to the flour mixture until it becomes crumbly.
Step 5 In a small bowl, mix buttermilk, egg, and honey.
Step 6 Make a well in the center of the flour and add the liquid mixture.
Step 7 Mix until it just comes together. Do not over mix or the bread will become hard.
Step 8 Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Step 9 Let cool on wire rack.


This bread cannot be made without the Irish-style wholemeal flour.  This flour is a coarsely ground, soft red whole wheat flour.  I purchased King Arthur Irish-Style Wholemeal Flour from their website, since it's not commonly found in American grocery stores.

Irish Brown Bread is best served warm with a nice pat of Kerrygold butter!

I highly recommend serving this warm with a pat of Kerrygold butter!


In America, it isn’t St. Patrick’s Day without green! I just had to add a touch of green.  Yeah, go ahead and try to pinch me now!


Check out my other past St. Patrick’s Day posts.

This one I just had to smile and cringe–my older food photography days!

St. Patrick’s Day and Girl Scouts Cookies?

A personal favorite of mines–who doesn’t love Guinness in chocolate cake!

the perfect remedy for the day or week after st. patrick’s day

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