My husband and I recently spent two weeks traveling through Ireland and Italy with some good friends. Out of 15 days in Europe and EVERY meal eaten out, we agreed there were only one or two meals that weren’t absolutely fantastic. That’s an awesome track record!
On one particular occasion, our cab driver suggested we visit a place called The ChopHouse while staying in Dublin. When we arrived, we realized we were about an hour and a half early for dinner service, but were offered a table anyway, and the chef offered to give us a platter of food to tide us over. It was an incredible spread – meats, cheeses, pickles, pates, olives, fig spreads… all drizzled with a bit of honey. But what impressed us the most was their version of Irish Brown (Soda) Bread. Of all the meals we had in Ireland, theirs was the best… and to our delight, the manager was happy to jot down their recipe for us!
When we returned home, I spent some time converting the recipe from grams to liquid measurements and tweaking his instructions until I came up with something quite close to what we tried there. According to my husband, this one’s a dead ringer! Good food is best shared with others, so I thought I’d give you a chance to try it. Because it’s a quick bread, you can mix it up and have it in the oven in the time it takes to preheat. Talk about easy!
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease bread pan. Mix flours, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Mix buttermilk and molasses in a separate bowl. Add oatmeal to buttermilk mixture and let stand for just 60 seconds. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until wet (taking care not to overmix). Place in bread pan and bake on middle rack for 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then remove loaf from pan. Can return to oven for 5 minutes more to crisp up the crust. This bread is great toasted, and even better eaten while still warm topped with fig spread and cheese! Enjoy!