Recipe: Irish brown bread

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Recipe: Irish brown bread

Dietitian's tip: A staple in homes all over Ireland, this hearty round wheat bread is a snap to make. It's typically cut into wedges and served with jam for the morning meal. Don't forget to cut an X into the top of the dough.

Serves: Makes 24 slices

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading and dusting
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Have ready a nonstick baking sheet.

In a bowl, combine the flours, wheat germ, baking soda and salt. Whisk to blend. Beat in the buttermilk and egg and stir just until moistened.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured work surface and, with floured hands, gently knead it 8 to 10 times; the dough will be sticky. Gather into a loose ball.

On the baking sheet, form the dough into a 7-inch round. Dust the top of dough with a small amount of flour. Cut a 4-inch X into the top of the dough, cutting about 1/2 inch deep. Bake until the bread splits open at the X and makes a hollow sound when the underside is tapped, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 2 hours (ideally) before slicing.

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