May 9, 2018

Irish Batch Bread

Batch Bread: Four loaves of bread baked in one pan!

Traditional Irish Batch Bread is a white bread that is made in batches of two to four one pound loaves in one pan. The bread is dark (almost black) on the top, and browned on the bottom, and then torn into individual loaves after baking.

Irish Batch Bread

I discovered Irish batch bread while researching Irish breads for this post about the Waterford Blaa. It really appealed to me because of the dark and cracked crust. I love the flavor that a dark crust adds to bread, and I was intrigued that you could achieve this while still getting a soft "sandwich style" interior.

Irish Batch Bread takes "pull-apart" bread to the next level. The individual loaves are simply wonderful sliced for sandwiches and toast, especially with jam and butter.

Irish Batch Bread in a hotel pan

This recipe calls for a very large pan for baking the Batch Bread. You will need a pan that is both tall and wide enough to accommodate 4 one pound loaves. I found a 10 inch by 12 inch by 6 inch hotel pan, which I found at a local restaurant supply store, that worked perfectly for me. A 9 by 13 by 6-inch half hotel pan would also work... or you could try using a high sided sheet cake pan, a small roasting pan, or even a disposable foil roasting pan.

For the fat, you can use vegetable oil, lard, or the more traditional beef drippings.

Four photos of making Irish Batch Bread

There is about 1 1/2 pounds (10 cups) of flour in in this dough, which is more than a home mixer can handle, so this recipe calls for making the dough in two batches. After making this dough in two batches in the 7 quart KitchenAid, I think it might work in one batch, but I can't be sure. If you use a 5 or 6 quart mixer, definitely mix the dough in two batches.

I'm still dreaming of this Ankarsrum mixer for making large loaves. I'd just have to figure out how to sneak it into the house.

Note: Next time I make this bread, I might try lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to make it easier to lift the loaf out of the pan. I was able to lift this loaf out of the pan without tearing it, but it took some patience.

There's a step in the process where you wet your thumb and push down on the top of each ball of dough before baking. The dough will spring back in the oven, leaving a tiny indentation on the top of the loaves. It's really weird, but it works!

If you try this bread, be sure to join my Facebook Group, Your Kitchen Stories, and post your photos. You can also post all of your food photos there and share recipes. I'd love to see you there, so please join. It's a very friendly group!

Yield: 4 1-pound Loaves

Irish Batch Bread

Traditional Irish Batch Bread is a white bread that is made in batches of two to four one pound loaves in one pan. The bread is dark (almost black) on the top, and browned on the bottom, and then torn into individual loaves after baking.

ingredients:


  • 45 ounces  (10 cups) bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, lard, or beef drippings
  • 1 quart water

instructions:


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix half of the ingredients for three minutes on low, and then 3 minutes on medium speed. The dough will be smooth but slightly sticky. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl or container and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the other half of the ingredients. 
  2. Let both batches of dough rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 
  3. Spray a 10 inch by 12 inch by 6 inch pan (such as a hotel pan) with spray oil (See Note above regarding parchment). Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. 
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide it into four equal pieces and shape each into a round ball. Place the four dough balls into the pan, seam side down, and cover the pan with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. 
  5. Wet your thumb with water, and push it down through the center of one of the dough balls. Re-wet your thumb, and repeat with the other three pieces of dough. 
  6. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. The crust should be dark and almost burnt, and the bread reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F. 
  7. Let the bread cool in the pan for an hour before removing. Remove the bread from the pan, and break apart the loaves. 

Irish Batch Bread draped in a checkered cloth

4 comments:

  1. I will not search for that pan. I will not search for that pan... I will not allow my fingers to type the name of the pan in the amazon.com search box.

    I will not

    Great post, Karen!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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