This is my version of Irish wheat bread that I came up with because I really enjoy the density of the bread, but prefer it to be a little less dry.
Loved this recipe so so easy and perfect moist bread thank you - 10 Sep 2012
Excellent recipe! As a native Belfast man I can recommend this as perfect Wheaten bread. Texture and consistency just right! Didn't quite see the point of brushing with buttermilk or sprinkling with sugar prior to baking but it did no harm anyway. There is absolutely no need to bake this within a pan and certainly this is something I have never heard of or come across before! I formed the cake round onto a lightly floured Pizza baking stone. Again, cutting the pre-baked bread with a finger is new to me and does not quite give the quartered effect achievable by knife. Just make sure to cut no more than 1/3 to 1/2 way through to give the splendid quartering or 'flowering' effect desired on all wheaten or soda breads. I used Olive Oil in lieu of vegetable and butter instead of margarine. Buttermilk is not usually in one's pantry so you can add a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk to substitute for buttermilk. Dry mix can be purchased. The mixture stays easily on a pizza stone for baking. This ensures the bread 'free-forms' as it should without using a spray buttered pan. I have uploaded two photos. Photo #7 shows the consistency of the pre-baked bread and #8 shows the finished product. Serve with Irish smoked salmon. UPDATE: 17th Mar 2011 I deleted some info to include this... Reviewers have mentioned the bread as being "too crumbly". Today I added 1 egg to the mixture and found it to be "tighter". See Photo #10 for the texture after egg addition. - 04 Mar 2011 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
I was very happy with how this recipe turned out and will definitely make it again. I had never heard of wheaten and was a bit concerned by the lack of yeast or rising time in the recipe. I did an internet search and found out that in wheaten (aka brown Irish soda bread), the buttermilk and baking soda cause the bread to rise during baking. The bread doubled in size during baking and had the consistency of cornbread; in fact, we had it with chili and it was excellent. It would be great with any meal that you'd typically have bread as an accompaniment. The dough was sticky and did not lend itself well to being free formed on a flat pan. I used the bottom of a ceramic tortilla warmer as a pan. A round cake pan would probably work well, too. I used 2 TB butter instead of 1/4 cup margarine, reduced the oil to 1/8th of a cup, and used low fat buttermilk. The bread was still very moist and did not feel or taste "low-fat". I also did not sprinkle sugar on top before baking as I wanted a more savory bread. - 04 Feb 2008 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)