Late last spring I was lucky enough to travel to Ireland with Kerrygold for a whirlwind dairy based trip. (I know I know. Poor me.) I was there with a group of food editors to learn more about dairy production in the Emerald Isle. Needless to say, we ate very well.
On our first night we were hosted by William and Aisling O’Callaghan at the very lovely Longueville House in County Cork. William's family has owned Longueville House since the late 1930s, and he is the inn's chef. They grow much of their own food on the property, and we were treated to a great dinner that first night.
It was the next morning at breakfast that I had my first taste of his brown bread. Let me try to describe it to you: It’s kind of chewy, a bit dense, and has a hint of sweetness. It’s perfect with a big smear of grass-fed salted Irish butter. I couldn’t stop eating it.
As the days passed we were served brown bread at every meal, but none was as good as his. I’ll tell you why: much Irish brown bread is soda bread, meaning the leavening is from baking soda or both baking soda and baking powder. In general I find that people use too much of these leaveners, and often baked goods made with them end up tasting soapy or metallic, which is a real bummer. William’s bread uses yeast, giving it a deeper flavor and more interesting texture. It might take a little longer to make, but I think it’s totally worth it, and thankfully William was willing to share his recipe with us.
I've tested his recipe and adapted it for American ingredients and measurements, and I think you'll like the results.
Now, what goes better with bread than jam? Watch Sarah make her favorite easy berry jam: