Moist Brown Bread


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    18×3 4 inch


Appears in

Real Irish Food

Real Irish Food

By David Bowers

Published 2014

  • About

This is like the luxury auto version of regular brown soda’s runabout car. It’s got a heap of extra bran in it, sometimes an egg, and either buttermilk or yogurt. All of us home bakers trying to make this are trying to emulate McCambridge’s, which has been purveying this dense and fragrantly wheaty bread since the 1930's. Their version is, fair enough, a trade secret, and if I could get McCambridge’s regularly in New York, I would never bake it myself again. Until that day comes, however, this version comes pretty close. Part of the secret is the wheat bran, and part is the very wet dough, which requires a loaf pan. You don’t have to use butter or an egg—the commercial brands don’t contain any—but they help make a moister bread for home cooks.


  • cups stoneground whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • ¼ cup wheat bran
  • teaspoons salt
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ cup(½ stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and butter an 8 x 4-inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, germ, bran, salt, and soda. Using your fingers, rub in the butter till the mixture forms coarse crumbs.
  3. Beat the egg into the buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir to combine, then turn the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the surface is crusty and cracked, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  5. Cool completely in the pan before removing.