After living in Ireland for 6 months I can concur that Irish people know how to make a great bread! The density which you find in their signature breads makes them great as toast or to dip into soups. And for those who crave carbs, there is an addictive quality to them. If I were to add up the amount of brown bread I ate while I was there some people would gain 5 pounds just imagining it.
So you can only imagine the withdrawals I went through when I left. It wasn’t long before I started looking for recipes which matched the breads I ate there. One of my friends from Ireland even sent me a few packages of Odlums brown bread pre-mix to help ease my cravings. However, as stated before, I’m not one to use mixes and I am not one to wait 2 weeks for a package to come in the mail– So I started recipe searching instead.
When I was recipe searching I kept running into this thing called Treacle. Imagine taking molasses and putting it on steroids– Treacle would be the end product. I was lucky to stumble upon this stuff in the international section of one of the grocery stores by my house. I honestly don’t know how I found it because it comes in a can that could easily be mistaken for wood stainer. Yup, you gotta ply the lid off (and you could even hammer it back on if you wanted to). (Want some?— Here is a link just in case you want to buy some).
After finding this little beauty I was able to explore the array of Treacle bread recipes that I had been finding online. It was this ingredient that, when cooking, triggered the many memories I had which surrounded waiting for that toaster to pop up in my apartment in Dublin (dont take a whiff of it in the jar though– it smells AWFUL!)
Today I decided to make a Treacle bread for a dinner I am attending at a sustainable house on campus tomorrow. I know that this is a group of people that appreciate a good thick bread so I decided it was the perfect thing to make on my eventless Monday evening. I also made a half version of this recipe using only whole wheat flour so I could enjoy some this evening. I do not have Treacle at school so I decided to just go with the weaker stuff (aka molasses).
Irish Treacle Bread
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbs salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 1/2 tbs molasses (or treacle if you have it)
- 2 1/2 tbs honey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix flours, oats, baking soda, and salt in a big bowl.
- In a smaller bowl mix the molasses and honey together (you can spray the bowl with cooking spray if you want to f make it pour easier). Mix buttermilk in.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients using first a spoon and then your hands. You may need to add a bit more flour in the process.
- Form dough into circular mound and place on a baking sheet. Using a floured knife make an “X” on the top of the dough.
- Bake for 50-55 min or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
- Enjoy and imagine that you are in Ireland 🙂