Pint-Glass Bread

Pint Glass Bread

Pint Glass Bread

Simple pint-glass bread made without the use of many utensils. Get the recipe for Pint Glass Bread »Christopher Hirsheimer

Peter Ward, founder of the Country Choice grocery in County Tipperary, devised this recipe for his son Jeff, who missed homebaked bread while a student at University College Dublin. As Peter recounted to us, Jeeff had no experience and few utensils in his student-housing kitchen, but "I knew that every Irish student has a pint glass, which he's brought home from a pub, so I invented a recipe for the simplest bread in the world, one whose ingredients he could measure out with a pint glass." If you use the same to measure the ingredients, note that the vessel in question is a 20-ounce imperial pint glass.

Pint-Glass Bread
This ingenious recipe—invented for an Irish college student with limited resources and experience—can be made with little more than, yes, a pint glass.
Yield: makes One 7 1/2" Round Loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 pint glass (2½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 pint glass (2½ cups) stone-ground whole wheat flour
  • Enough baking soda to coat the bottom of a pint glass (¾ tsp.)
  • Enough salt to coat the bottom of a pint glass (¾ tsp.)
  • Enough butter to coat the bottom of a pint glass (1 tbsp.)
  • 34 pint glass (1¾ cups) buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of the all-purpose flour over the center of a baking sheet and set aside. Put 2 tsp. of the all-purpose flour into a small bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, put remaining all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and mix well with your hands to combine. Add butter, breaking it up into small pieces with your fingers, and mix it into flour mixture until combined. Make a well in the center of the flour–butter mixture and add buttermilk. Slowly incorporate buttermilk into flour mixture with your hands until a rough ball forms, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a neat ball (without kneading).
  2. Transfer dough to center of baking sheet and press gently to form a 7½"-wide round. Using a sharp knife, slash a cross ½" deep across the entire top of the loaf and dust top of loaf with the reserved flour. Bake until bread is light golden and a tap on the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow, about 70 minutes. Wrap bread in a clean kitchen towel, prop against a windowsill, and allow to cool for about 2 hours. Slice and serve at room temperature or toasted, with a slathering of Irish butter, if you like.