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I love all breads, from airy ciabattas to elegant French baguettes. But sometimes I want a hearty, rustic, craggy bread. You know, a big old slice of nubbly, oaty bread that just begs to be spread with a layer of thick jam or a melting pat of butter.
This is that bread.
The Irish call it brown bread and they make it with a special coarse wheat flour that you can order online. The unrefined grains lend this bread a vaguely sweet, honey flavor as well as a hint of toasted oats. I like it cut into thick, soft wedges or even made into toast.
I know it's a little late to be ordering special flour if you're making it as a St. Patrick's Day treat (though some readers have had good results with the easier to find spelt flour), so consider this my attempt to get your attention. You don't have to make this bread just for St. Patrick's Day—it's the kind of bread I want year round and you will too. In the winter, pair it with soup, and in the summer, layer it with some slices of sharp cheddar, a drizzle of honey, and slices of fresh fruit.
About the author: Carrie Vasios Mullins is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios