I studied abroad in Ireland. If you know me, I have probably already told you far too much about those six months that I lived in Galway already, if for some reason you have been spared that, I shall make up for it now. Ireland was great, I loved living in Galway, you should probably go and see for yourself. There are some things that I will never understand about the Irish, such as their showers/hot water heaters, or why they take exams at the racecourse, or why 95% of the coffee in the country is utter crap, or why the skittles there taste different, but there are other things that I can fully get behind. For example, curry chips, french fries with curry sauce, amazing. Or the thousands of pubs. Or the big bottles of Bulmers (you can actually get that here, it's called Magners though, it is the same hard cider just with a different name). Or the tart shop. Or the stone walls, I liked the stone walls. Or the cliffs, so amazing. Anyways, if you ever make it to Ireland, I would strongly recommend that you always get the brown bread (for example with the full Irish breakfast that I am sure you will be eating at some point, if they say and would you like toast or brown bread the right answer is always brown bread). I really like the brown bread, and this recipe is as close as you can get using american ingredients.
Mix up your dry ingredients. There are quite a few ingredients, but you really need them all, it makes the bread really delicious.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter, rub it in with your fingers to incorporate it.
Stir in 2 cups of buttermilk and dump it all in a loaf pan. See how easy this is? No kneading or letting it rise and you end up with a yummy yummy loaf of bread. Now toss it in the oven for 40 minutes. While you wait for it to bake you can look at these pictures of Ireland and pretend you are there.
Inishmore, one of the Aran islands. Biking around the island is fun, but you should really question people who tell you that you can go downhill both ways.
Galway, right after sunset, this picture is a bit dark, but I like the sky in it. You can sort of see the Claddagh at the end there, it is technically a fishing village and not really part of Galway City. It is known for the Claddagh ring and the many giant swans that hang out there who are not at all afraid of people anymore.
The cliffs of Moher. They are really famous and were in the movies the Princess Bride, and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
A part of some castle, I think Blarney castle, home of the blarney stone, which I have in fact, kissed, twice.
Ham and cheese crepe from the weekend market in Galway, delicous.
Shop street in Galway. If you were to turn left at the Bank of Ireland (which you cant really see in this picture, but it is on this street) you would find the tart shop, you should probably pick up a bakewell tart, a lemon tart, a mixed berry tart and a chocolate one if you are ever in the neighborhood.
If you now want an irish husband/wife, you can attend the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival to find one. Then invite me to the wedding.
Back to the bread though, 40 minutes later it will look like this.
Pop it out of the pan and let it cool a bit before you cut yourself and nice thick slice. It may not be the prettiest bread, but it is quite tasty.
Irish Brown Bread (from Recipe Rascal)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons toasted wheat bran (I couldn't find wheat bran, so I just used ground flax seeds)
3 tablespoons toasted wheat germ (I don't toast it...)
2 tablespoons old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425. Butter a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Mix everything but the butter and buttermilk. Add butter, rub it in with your fingertips until there are no more big chunks. Stir in buttermilk to form a soft dough. Transfer to loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Turn bread out of pan and let cook on a rack.