Monday, January 3, 2011

Colonial Brown Bread

A convert to Roman Catholicism, Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was foundress of the American Sisters of Charity, which was the first sisterhood native to the United States. She was the first person born in the United States to become a canonized saint on September 14, 1975.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's feast day is January 4th. In honor of her colonial heritage, here is the recipe I have used for Colonial Brown Bread.
It's a huge family favorite!

Colonial Brown Bread

2 C. buttermilk
2 C. whole wheat
2/3 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x5 loaf pan.
In large bowl, stir together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pour in buttermilk and stir until all of the dry ingredients have been absorbed. Spoon into pan. Bake for 1 hour or until knife inserted in the loaf comes out clean. Serve warm. Store leftovers wrapped in plastic in fridge. Toasts well!

Makes 1 loaf.
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  1. Sounds perfect, Charlotte! Thanks for posting. We love visiting the shrine in Emmitsburg ... did you know the lovely sisters prayed when the Union and Confederates were planning to converge on Emmitsburg ... their prayers were answered and the battle moved to Gettysburg!

  2. Can't wait to try this one! The brown bread recipe I have (that I used to make years ago) was much, much more complicated (it involved raisins, a coffee can, and steaming in the oven, if I remember right). This one looks easy and fun!

    Is sour milk an okay substitution? I don't have buttermilk on hand just now.

  3. I don't know for sure, but I don't see why not. Let me know if you try it with the soured milk and how it turns out.

  4. This bread was so easy to make and was delicious. We served it with a pot roast as that sounded colonial to me (though it probably isn't). My 2 yr old couldn't wait to eat some of the bread for breakfast the following morning.

  5. Here is a blog post on different buttermilk substitutions. I might make a second batch today with one of these options and compare it to the original.

  6. I think Red Cardigan is thinking of Boston brown bread

    but it is quite different from TRADITIONAL (not modern) Irish soda bread; the modern version is sweet and has raisins (we ♥ it!).

    This recipe is more like traditional Irish soda bread. The sour milk will be fine (as will milk, period), but the bread may have a slightly different flavor (though not bad in any way). I bake a lot, including 18th c. bread for a reenacting unit we're in. Read more about soda bread here:

    and 18th c bread here:

    God Bless you...