18 March 2012

Top o' the Mornin' !

Whole Wheat Irish Herb Bread smells heavenly while baking ... like a combination of cake and Thanksgiving dressing. It has a bit of sweeteness from light brown sugar, basil, thyme, and marjoram for that herby flavour, and currants for a nice sweet chew. Plop it on a pretty bread board. Serve it up warm with some soft butter for smearing and a cup of strong tea. You'll swear you're back in Ireland ... all you need is a peat fire and some back music!

Happy St Paddy's Day!

Beth Hensperger's Whole Wheat Irish Herb Bread

Makes: 2 - 8-inch round loaves


2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. whole wheat flour
⅓ c. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried marjoram
½ c. pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1 c. dried currants
1½ c. cold buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. melted butter

Making the Bread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease two 9 inch cake pans.
  2. Measure the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, herbs, and seeds and currants into a deep bowl and whisk together to mix thoroughly and coat the currants.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the cold buttermilk and eggs. Pour in the melted butter and whisk quickly.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix quickly just until most of the flour is incorporated and the dough forms a wet raggedy ball.
  5. Turn the dough and any extra flour onto a lightly floured board. Knead the rest of the flour and seeds and currants into the dough with quick brisk punches … no more than a dozen.
  6. Use knife to divide the dough in half.
  7. Grease your hands with some canola oil and gather the dough balls into smooth balls.
  8. Plop them into the prepared pans and flatten them to 8-inch circles.
  9. Grease the knife blade and make a cross in the top of each loaf.
  10. Pop the bread into the oven and bake for 35 minutes. The bread browns up nicely, but rap it to confirm that it’s done. It will sound ‘thunk’ hollow.
  11. Remove from the pans and cool slightly on racks.
  12. Serve immediately for best flavour and texture. If you must store it, put it in a zip-lock bag while it’s still warm and close the bag to hold in humidity/moisture. If you don’t do this the crust becomes hard and too crisp and the bread dries out fast.


  1. Look at that glorious bread. So perfect to warm up your morning. Fab recipe x

  2. Toasted and heavy on the butter please!

  3. Oh that looks fantastic! Are you sharing? LOL!!!

  4. This is the type of bread that you keep going back for another small little slice and before you know it 3/4 of the loaf and half a stick of butter is gone. You really make a good looking loaf of bread Susan.

  5. It sounds wonderful with those herbs! I've never had currants though, so that takes a bit of imagination.

    1. Oh Alyce! Currants are like little baby raisins .... a bit tarter, and not as mushy. You should try them! They go well in cookies too, as they're smaller and distribute a bit better, IMHO.


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