Recipe: Smoked Salmon on Irish Brown Bread

We’re sure you’ll agree, the best recipes for home baking are the ones that have been handed down from generation to generation. This traditional Irish brown bread recipe is no different, it comes direct from the Emerald Isle thanks to iDealwine’s International Marketing Manager Orlaith, whose grandmother has kindly agreed to share her tried and trusted recipe.

The beauty of Irish brown bread is not only in the taste, but also in how quick it is to make it. With neither yeast nor kneading required, buttermilk is the magic ingredient that makes the bread rise.

Enjoyed in Ireland throughout the year (especially on a lazy Sunday morning), it is also served on Christmas Day as an indulgent breakfast, or later as a canapé or starter.

Makes two loaves, you will need two pound (loaf) tins.


330g Wholemeal Flour (coarse is best)

220g White Flour

60g Butter, melted

700ml Buttermilk

2tsp Salt

2tsp Baking Soda (bicarbonate of soda)

2tsp Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

To serve

Irish organic smoked salmon

Salted butter or cream cheese

Lemon, in wedges


Preheat your oven to 190°C

Sieve the white flour into a very large mixing bowl, then add the wholemeal flour, and mix in other dry ingredients with a spoon. Make a well in the centre, before adding the wet ingredients. Mix with a spoon until combined.

Tip the mixture into a greased or lined baking tin. Resist the urge to knead it first, and don’t worry, the mixture should be soft and wet.

Bake for 1hour 15 mins.

Take the bread out and tip onto a cooling rack. With your knuckle or a spoon, tap the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow, its done. If not, pop it back into the oven for 5-10 minutes.

Serve just cooled. Slice and slather with salted butter, then top with Irish organic smoked salmon, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Top Tips

  • If you can’t get your hands on buttermilk, you can use full fat milk mixed with lemon juice (approx. three tablespoons).
  • Brown bread is best eaten the day it is made.

Wine Pairings

Blanc de Blancs Champagne: this Signature Cuvée from Philippe Gonet will pair beautifully with smoked salmon. For a real treat this Christmas, opt for this Terroirs Extra Brut from Agrapart. We have a great selection of Champagne for sale now on iDealwine.

Sancerre: we love this Les Chasseignes Cuvée from Claude Riffaultv but check out all of our Sancerre on sale here.

Bordeaux: For the cellar, opt for this Château Haut Bergey or Domaine de Chevalier. For more, see our list of gastronomic white Bordeaux wines here, Sauvignon dominant.