Farmhouse Brown Bread

Warm brown bread right out of the oven, with Irish butter and a proper cup of tea with fresh cows milk, what could be a better way to start the day?  Joan’s homecooking is one of the many reasons I love visiting the farm in Cork. When asked for her recipe she gave it to me in “saucerfuls”. So, after watching carefully I broke it down to this:

4 cups wholemeal and 2 cups plain white flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 Tbl. bread soda,  1 Tbl. brown sugar,  8 Tbl. cold butter, 2 1/2 to 3 cups whole milk or buttermilk.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in cold butter until crumbly. Pour in milk until all is well blended. Form into a round loaf, cut a cross into the middle and place on a greased flat pan. Bake in a 180 or 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.   Eat hot with lots of butter!