At Ways & Means Oyster House in Orange, the bread service gets almost as much attention as the fresh seafood dishes. All the several varieties offered are made in-house, but it’s the Guinness bread that really stands out—a tender, oat-flecked loaf made with whole wheat flour and enriched with the famous Dublin beer. A native of Ireland, Conrad Gallagher, who opened the restaurant but has since decamped to his own Vanity Catering, is the youngest chef ever awarded a Michelin star. However, the Guinness bread (still served at Ways & Means) preceded even that honor. “This was my grandmother Nora’s recipe, that she gave me when I was just 12 years old,” Gallagher says, “and I have been using it ever since.”
Guinness Bread from Conrad Gallagher
1 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons steel-cut oats
2 tablespoons wheat bran
¼ cup molasses
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
½ cup Guinness beer
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan.
In large mixer bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, sugar, oats, and wheat bran
In small saucepan, gently heat molasses and butter. When butter has melted, add milk and Guinness.
Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients, and mix briefly but thoroughly. Dough will be very wet, almost a batter. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake about 50 minutes, until loaf is firm enough to turn out of pan and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom. Place loaf on its side, free of pan, directly on oven rack, and bake an additional 10 minutes, turning over halfway through, to finish crust.
Cool before slicing. Bread tastes even better if left for 24 hours; if keeping overnight, wrap airtight. Do not slice until ready to serve.