Coming into the Village of Doolin
While traveling around Ireland, Robert and I generally started our day with a traditional Irish breakfast.
Depending upon where you stayed the night before, you could start breakfast with a sideboard of cereal, fresh fruit, stewed prunes, orange juice, tea, coffee, scones, croissants or toast. Then the proprietor might bring you a plate of fried/scrambled/poached eggs, triangles of hash brown potatoes, beans, sausage, rashers and broiled tomato halves. We had them hold the meat. Along with this plate is another serving of toast and Irish brown bread.
The one thing that remained the same, day after day, was the basket of fresh brown bread. It was rough-textured, slightly sweet, with a nutty taste and a crunchy crust, still warm from the oven.
Proprietors were very proud of their Irish brown bread. Here’s a traditional recipe obtained after much persuasive argument from the proprietor of a Bed and Breakfast in Doolin, County Clare.
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ cups whole-wheat flour
¾ cup quick oats
½ cup wheat germ
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1¾ cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a large loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix flours, oats, wheat germ, baking soda and salt. Whisk together buttermilk and honey. Add to flour mixture; stir to combine until soft dough forms. Turn dough out and into the loaf pan.
Bake 10 minutes to get the outside nice and crusty. Reduce temperature to 400°F and continue baking 35 minutes longer or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool 15 minutes before slicing.