My Mam never made bread, which always seemed a little unusual to me as she did used to bake. She made and still does on occasion, scones, rock buns, buns (fairy cakes), fruit cakes, tarts and a few other things. She also makes jam and together with my father used to make black pudding. It was a terrifying process but you’ll be happy to hear that I’ve asked her if she will show me how to do it and she has agreed as long as she can get her hands on a bucket of pigs blood. Yum.
I’ve decided to take it upon myself to learn how to make bread. I figured the traditional Irish brown soda bread would be the handiest to start with. I googled a few recipes but they seemed a little too complex to me. I’m pretty sure the mammies and grannies of Ireland use only a handful of ingredients. I abandoned the laptop and went to the back of the odlums flour pack:
275g coarse wholemeal flour
175g cream plain flour (I used plain flour, is there a difference?)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bread soda
25g margarine (I used butter as I didn’t have any margarine)
Oven temperature: 200 degrees celcius / 400 fahrenheit/ gas mark 6
Baking time 40 – 45 mins
- Sieve plain flour, bread soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix in wholemeal.
- Rub in margarine until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
- Add sufficient buttermilk to make a soft dough
- Turn out onto floured surface and gently knead to remove any cracks from the dough
- Form into a round shape and place on a floured baking sheet. Cut traditional cross through the dough using a sharp knife.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40 – 45 mins.
- Go to Glendalough for lovely bank holiday picnic and eat with Le Rustique Camembert that kindly housemates brought back with them from a trip to france.
- Feel very smug.