Ballymaloe Brown Bread

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During winter months, there’s nothing like a slice (or two) of home-made brown bread. Enjoy a good slab with a piping hot cup of tea, or, as seen in our current issue, with a delicious chicken broth. Our cookery editor Lesley Tumulty, who trained at Ballymaloe, shares a foolproof recipe.

Makes 1 loaf

Cooking time 40-50 mins

You will need:

450g stoneground wholemeal flour
25g fresh yeast
425ml warm water
1 tsp black treacle
1 tsp salt
Sesame seeds


Pre-heat oven to 230°C/gas mark 8.

Put flour and salt into a large bowl.

Sponge the yeast in 150ml of tepid water with a tea spoon of treacle, and leave in a warm place for the yeast to become active (this should take about five minutes).

Add the remaining water to the yeast and treacle mixture and stir well.

Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix with an open hand, drawing the flour from the sides of the bowl.

Mix until you have a wettish dough and pour into a lightly oiled 2lb loaf tin. Sprinkle the top of the dough with sesame seeds.

Put the tin in a warm place for about 45 mins, at which point the dough will have risen to around twice it’s original size – it should be just peeping over the rim.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until it looks lovely and brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Handy tip: Remove bread from the tin about 10 minutes before the end of baking and put it back in the oven to crisp all around.

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