Irish Brown Bread
500 grams (4 cups) of Irish wholemeal flour, or spelt flour
400 grams (1 1/2 cup) of plain, whole milk yogurt
Splash of milk
10 gr (2 teaspoons) of salt
10 gr (2 teaspoons) of baking soda
When people think of Irish bread they usually think of soda bread, but brown bread and soda bread are not the same. Soda bread is made with white flour and is more sweet, even scone like. Brown bread is made with wholemeal flour and is more savory and nutty. Originally brown bread was made in Ireland because the only flour available was wholemeal flour, which does not have as much gluten as white flour so does not rise enough to make a yeasted bread. Now there are all types of flour available in Ireland, but the brown bread is still a traditional favorite.
Preheat the oven to 400F or 200C
Mix the flour, salt and baking soda. Add a handful of seeds, if using.
Make a well in the center of the flour and add the yogurt. Mix with a fork until combined. Add enough milk to hold the dough together. It should be somewhat sticky, but workable.
Flour a work surface and tip the dough out onto it. Lightly knead the dough for about 15-30 seconds, adding more flour if it seems too sticky. (This dough does not benefit from more kneading). Form into a ball and place on a baking tray. Cut an X across the top of the dough about ½ inch deep. Place in the oven and cook for 40-50 minutes, until golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center.
Tips: you can use any type of seeds and/or dried fruits (raisins, cranberry...)