Homemade Brown Bread for Busy Bodies

In this new and rather busy season of my life the kitchen cannot command as much time as it used to and so I have a new found appreciation for this uncomplicated and tasty bread that I routinely made on a weekly basis, years ago, prior to sourdough becoming almost ubiquitous. The recipe is as straightforward as this; mix all the dry ingredients, add the buttermilk and stick it in the oven. When you can’t endure another morning of porridge or you’ve demolished your stash of sourdough, or you too are juggling a hectic schedule and need a quick homemade and healthy recipe, give this a try. For you my friends, I even have a step-by-step story in my Instagram ‘Highlights’ to accompany the instructions below. I hope you enjoy it.


  • 450g of extra-coarse wholemeal flour
  • A handful of plain white flour
  • 1 level teaspoon of bread soda/bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of salt
  • Approx 4-5 tablespoons of seed mix – (eg, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, porridge oats – whatever you have to hand)
  • 2 tablespoons of pinhead oatmeal (for texture)
  • Approx 400-450ml of buttermilk


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (conventional)
  2. Using a pastry brush, line the tin with oil. Then scatter some flour and shake around so all the tin is covered with a thin layer. Shake off the excess.
  3. By hand mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Ensure there are no lumpy bits of baking soda.
  4. Add most of (but not all) the buttermilk into the mixing bowl.
  5. With your hand in the shape of a claw, combine the dry mix and buttermilk together.
  6. You are looking for a slightly wet, ‘porridge-like’ consistency. Add a little more buttermilk if you think it is necessary.
  7. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and put it straight into the oven.
  8. Bake for approx 45mins but it may need longer- all ovens are different!
  9. The bread should have risen and coloured nicely on top. To check if the bread is done, take it out of the tin carefully and knock on the base of it. It should sound hollow. You can also put a skewer in and it should come out clean.
  10. Leave to sit on a wire rack until cool.
  11. Slather in butter and enjoy.

I usually slice half the loaf, wrap it well and put into the freezer. Then you can take out slice by slice as you need it and throw in the toaster at any time of day – delicious! 

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