Brown Bread for a Green Day

Irish Brown Bread Painting by Jen Norton

Arán Donn (Brown Bread), 30 x 30, Acrylic on canvas


We were treated to some warm, delicious home-baked Irish Brown Bread upon returning from a long, drizzly day of sight-seeing while visiting our good friends in Ireland a while ago. Topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon, or just plain butter, it’s quite a treat. I had to paint the recipe of “Arán Donn”, complete with locally-grown apples and the magpies you often see along the road. There’s an old superstition about the meanings behind the number of magpies you see together. Two is for Joy! Beannachtaí na féile Pádraig…Or, if you’re not up to speed on your Irish, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Want to try it for yourself…here’s the recipe:

6 oz / 175g  whole wheatl flour
2 oz / 50g plain white flour
2 oz / 50g   steel cut oatmeal
1 oz / 25g   wheatgerm
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg
10 fl oz / 275ml buttermilk

mix dry stuff in big bowl
whisk egg in the buttermilk
mix dry and wet stuff
put into buttered bread tin
make a deep cross on top and prick the four corners to let the fairies out! (very important, I hear)

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375F for 50-60mins

Let me know what you think!

PS: You can purchase prints of this piece here. Contact me directly to inquire about the original.


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5 Responses to Brown Bread for a Green Day

  1. Priscilla March 17, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Very, very lovely. Makes me wanna go and bake right now (and I usually don’t bake!) 🙂 great job. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!

  2. Sally Taylor March 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Sounds delicious. Fantastic details in the illo!

  3. Giselle McMenamin March 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    This is just so lovely. All the details and textures make for a great illo.

  4. Sílvia Llenas March 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    Hey! Have you heard about They Draw and Cook? Take a look, maybe you can post your recipe there.
    Nice work!

    • Jen March 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

      Thanks Silvia…yes, I have heard of jthem ( ), and I just posted a fig recipe to their current contest. The trick with them is the art has to fit a very specific (odd) size, so this one wouldn’t work unless I chopped it up in Photoshop and re-formatted it. When they post their Fig Contest entries later this month, look for my piece! I’ll eventually post it here to.