March 01, 2016

Ballymaloe Irish Brown Bread - #Twelve Loaves

This month's theme for #TwelveLoaves is Irish Breads.  I'm pretty sure the Irish made a few of breads and said, lovin' this bread, we're good, because there really isn't an abundance bread recipes from this part of the world.  I choose a brown yeast bread recipe that originated at Ballymaloe House - a bread that has been baked there for over 60 years.

When I first saw this recipe I had no idea where Ballymaloe House was, except that it was in Ireland. They have a lovely web page telling you about the history and showing the beautiful estate - check it out, and I dare you not to admit that you immediately want to visit. After reading about it I wanted to pinpoint exactly where it is in Ireland, just in case I magically win the lottery (no chance, as gambling is illegal in Hawaii) and wanted to hop on a flight.  My husbands grandfather was from Ireland - Athlone - and we always thought it would be wonderful to visit the area one day. We also have an Irish last name so it would be great to travel to where they can actually pronounce it :)

I must say that this is one of the easiest yeast breads you will ever make as it is mixed in one bowl, there is no kneading involved, and it proofs in the loaf pan. Easy Peasy. It would have been great to have used fresh yeast as they do in the original recipe but it is not readily available here. It's the trade-off of living in paradise - there is a laundry list of things I can't get unless I am prepared to pay an arm and a leg in shipping charges. Where the heck are you Trader Joe's? - Whole Foods is making a killing here. When this bread came out of the oven I seriously wondered how it had all come together so quickly, however I do wish it had risen just a little more than it did. As I am still learning about the bread-baking process I'm not sure if it was that my tepid water was too tepid (I think that I really do get nervous about the water being too hot and I go in the opposite direction) or that my loaf pans may have been a little bigger than required. Regardless it was still delicious. It is a dense, heavy loaf made to be enjoyed with a big dollop of Kerrygold butter on top, or maybe as an accompaniment to a Ploughman's Lunch of ham, cheese, and pickles. I'm looking forward to toasting some for breakfast, and if there is any left I am going to make it into croutons for a salad. I'm so glad I made two loaves.

If you would like to know more about #TwelveLoaves and see what the other bakers made for the Irish Breads theme please scroll down below the recipe. Thanks to Lora from Cake Duchess and Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen for getting us organized for this month.

Ballymaloe Irish Brown Bread - #Twelve Loaves
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

  • 400g whole-wheat flour, preferably stone-ground
  • 50g white flour (all-purpose or bread flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 150ml tepid water, plus additional 275ml tepid water (425ml total)
  • 1 tablespoon dark molasses (or 1 teaspoon treacle)
  • 12g teaspoons active dry yeast

  1. Mix the flours with the salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Pour 150ml of water into a small bowl and stir in the molasses, add the yeast, stirring a couple of times. Let stand until it starts to foam on top, about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture and the remaining 275ml water into the flour and stir until a batter is formed, which will have the consistency of oatmeal. Let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Spray a nonstick 23cm loaf pan with nonstick spray and cut a piece of parchment or wax paper to line the bottom of the pan. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula or if it’s sticky, dampen your hand and use that then drape a kitchen towel over the top and let rise in a warm place until the dough reaches the top of the pan, about 20 minutes – it can vary so just keep an eye on it.
  5. Before the dough has almost reached the top of the pan, preheat the oven to 230ºC.
  6. When the dough has reached the top of the pan, bake the bread for 20 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes, decrease the heat to 200ºC. Run a knife around the outside of the bread to release it from the pan, tip the loaf out of the pan, remove the parchment paper, and place the loaf upside down directly on the baking rack and let bake another 15 minutes, or until done. The bread is ready when you tap the bottom and it sounds hollow.
  8. Let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Recipe by David Lebovitz via Ballymaloe House
For US Measurements please click here

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, and the rest of our fabulous bakers. This month we are baking Irish Breads. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month's inspiring selection of #TwelveLoaves RED Breads!

If you'd like to bake along with us this month, share your Irish Breads using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!


  1. Mmmm, I love brown bread. When I was in Ireland, I ate my weight in all sorts of brown bread and just fell in love with it. I was lucky enough to visit Ballymaloe and meet Darina and Rachel Allen - and eat brown bread! Yours looks delicious.

  2. How nice that you can use this bread for all meals-- breakfast, lunch or dinner and croutons may be in the making too! Great use of two loaves.

  3. Love the last photo!!! Your bread looks fabulous and sounds delicious!!! You are right, not a lot of choices out there.


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