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Wheaten Bread: A Traditional Irish Treat

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Dearbhlá shares her family recipe for the beloved Irish home comfort food: the humble yet hearty wheaten loaf, which is easier to make than you may believe!

Credit: Dearbhlá McMenamin

This classic little loaf is usually considered a staple in most households around Ireland. It can be enjoyed either savoury (served with a bowl of soup such as Chloe D’Inverno’s Spicy Sweet Potato Soup here) or sweet (topped with a generous spread of butter and jam). Whether at home or away, baking this loaf reminds me of my family, friends, and good memories. My personal preference for enjoying this bread is with a good strong cup of tea!

I first discovered this recipe in my home economics class at school aged 13. Ever since I brought it home after school that day in a foil takeaway container, it’s been a family favourite! After baking dozens of these loaves, over time, the recipe has been tweaked and changed to my family’s liking. However, that is the beauty of a simple recipe; you can be as creative or uncreative as you like with it.

Without further ado, let’s get baking!

Credit: Dearbhlá McMenamin


1. Medium or large mixing bowl

2. Measuring jug

3. Measuring scales

4. Loaf tin

5. Baking paper or loaf cases

6. Fork

Credit: Dearbhlá McMenamin


1. 375g coarse wholemeal flour

2. 225g plain flour (can use self-raising flour instead if omit the baking powder)

3. 75g margarine or butter

4. 75g sugar

5. 1 tsp baking powder

6. 3 tsp bicarbonate of soda

7. 2 eggs

8. ¾ pint buttermilk

9. 1 tsp salt


1. Preheat the oven to 180℃.

2. Add coarse wholemeal flour, plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt to the mixing bowl.

3. Mix with a fork.

4. Add margarine and rub it in using fingertips.

5. Once combined, add the sugar.

6. Add beaten eggs and buttermilk.

7. Place the mixture into the lined loaf tin.

8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, check it, and then cook for a further 10 minutes. It should be golden brown and come out clean when pierced with a knife once fully baked.

9. Enjoy!

Credit: Dearbhlá McMenamin

About the Author: Dearbhlá is a 2nd-year Environmental Science student at The University of York from Ireland. She enjoys getting stuck into crafts and baking in her spare time as well as volunteering for various environmental action groups.

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