Go Back
+ servings
A loaf of Irish Brown Bread on a piece of parchment paper on a wooden cutting board.

Irish Brown Bread

This traditional Irish Brown Bread recipe makes the perfect loaf of bread for a slather of butter or dunking in stew.

Course Bread
Cuisine Irish
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Total 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings (1 loaf)
Calories 213 kcal
Author Michelle


  • 1⅛ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1⅓ cups wheat bran
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cold and cut into small pieces
  • cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons molasses


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and put it on the center oven rack.

  2. Whisk together the whole wheat flour and wheat/oat bran or wheat germ in a large bowl.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the wheat flour mixture and whisk to combine.

  4. Add the butter pieces and rub them into small pieces with the flour mixture using your fingers or a pastry blender, until as small as possible.

  5. Stir in the buttermilk and molasses until the dough is uniformly damp. Turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead gently, until the dough forms a smooth ball.

  6. Use a sharp serrated knife (or a lame) to slice a cross deeply into the top of the bread, about 1-inch deep. Place the loaf on the hot baking sheet.

  7. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the loaf is firm on top and when you tap the bottom, feels hollow.

  8. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about one hour before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Equipment: Rimmed baking sheet or cast iron skillet
  • Wheat Bran: You can substitute oat bran or wheat germ, by weight.
  • Buttermilk: If you do not have buttermilk and can't get it, use this substitution: Place 1½  tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegar in a liquid 2-cup measuring cup. Add enough whole or 2% milk to bring the mixture to 1½ cups. Stir it, then let it sit for 5 minutes before using. Discard ¼ cup to get the correct measurement for this recipe.
  • Storing: Store fresh baked Irish brown bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days after baking.
  • Freezing: If you don't plan on eating your bread right away I suggest freezing the loaf. Wrap the cooled loaf tightly in two layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: When you are ready to reheat the loaf, remove it from the freezer and allow it to come to room temperature. Pop in the oven and bake at 350°F for 5-10 minutes.
  • Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz.
Nutrition Facts
Irish Brown Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 213 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 194mg8%
Potassium 457mg13%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 103IU2%
Calcium 62mg6%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.