Donal Mc’s brown bread

May 17, 2011

This is my Dad’s very own recipe for brown bread and I almost feel guilty for sharing it because it’s very special to us. It’s actually more of a white soda with a bit of brown as opposed to the traditional brown bread. He makes it every day, and it’s always been a bit of a ritual in our home. He has modified and tried so many recipes for brown bread, honed them and perfected them and finally came up with this one. For me, it is the best brown bread ever. I should point out that the loaf pictured was made by Donal Mc himself and not me.

It takes about fifteen minutes to make which is exactly the time it takes to pre-heat the oven. He is very particular about the wooden spoon he uses, and will only ever use his favourite whittled down, worn out ancient old wooden spoon to mix the dough. The spoon part is so over used, it’s almost as slender as the spoon handle and it often reminds me of a wooden stick.  For years we have tried to buy him a new spoon but nothing has ever been good enough. He also uses the same bowl and tin. Bread making really is a ritual and a labour of love. However, once you start making bread you soon realise how quick and easy it is. And of course it goes without saying it always tastes a lot better than anything you’ll ever buy. So please, try this simple and delicious bread and let me know what you think.

Here’s how:

– 13oz of  white self raising flour – Hearts Delight brand if possible
– 3oz  of wheatmeal  flour
2 teaspoons of bread soda (recently my dad has changed this 1 teaspoon of bread soda)
– 1 teaspoon salt
– little over 1/2 a pint of buttermilk
knob of 1/4 oz of butter, melted

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a rectangular tin with parchment/baking paper. Sieve the white flour, bread soda and the salt. Add the wheatmeal flour. Stir together and then add the buttermilk and melted butter. The mixture should come together and clean all traces of dough from the side of the bowl. It’s a slightly wet dough. Pour the dough into the lined baking tin, making sure it’s pressed in well at the corners. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 50 minutes. Once cooked, remove and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve with a thick spread of real butter.


  • Reply Lily May 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing the recipe Vicky! This bread sounds lovely!! I’ll give it a go and give you feed back! Does he use shop bought buttermilk? I’m starting to bake my own bread, but I have very little patience to let it rise… no bread machine you see. So if this is a 15 minute job, I’m sure to like it! 🙂

    • Reply Oui Chef May 18, 2011 at 9:29 am

      We do use shop bought buttermilk, it works great and is really easy to make. Hope it works out well for you. Good luck on Saturday with the Mexican Cook In. x

  • Reply Kristin May 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    What a lovely story – I can just picture your dad using the same worn-away spoon and the same bowl and tin. I’d love to see a photo of that spoon!

    • Reply Oui Chef May 18, 2011 at 9:39 am

      Ha ha, I did take a picture of it! Must find it and put it up. It looked a bit ridiculous but that spoon is very precious to him. I think I might have to get a new one custom made if anything happens to it.

  • Reply Cheryl May 26, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Thanks Vicky! N sent Mike and I your website and I’ve been dying to try this since I’ve seen the recipe. It’s in the oven now, I’m hoping my US conversions worked okay. Love the blog!

    • Reply Oui Chef May 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

      Thanks for stopping by Cheryl. I hope it works out. We made an American recipe last week and for some reason the cup conversion didn’t work out for us and we had a very sloppy but still tasty cheesecake! I get so confused by cups. I must get N to buy me some American measures next time he is over. Let me know how you get on with this one.

  • Reply Sally May 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Loved Donal’s brown bread, so quick to make and it really is delicious. Keep the receipes coming, your blog is great!

    • Reply Vicky May 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks Sal, he is a great source of recipe inspiration and home-grown veg of course too!

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