6

Irish Brown Soda Bread

I make this bread regularly, it is a great accompaniment to a creamy vegetable soup and I highly recommend this soup recipe  from Nessa’s Family Kitchen. I also love to toast it and top it with melted cheddar cheese.

Funny Story:

Whilst making this bread one day, Zoe was helping me pour the dry ingredients into the bowl (she was 2 at the time) and as I turned to get the buttermilk an irresistible urge seemed to come over her and she blew into the bowl!! Well needless to say a little flour bomb exploded in her face, she looked up at me in shock and I howled laughing, the poor girl was covered in flour!

Irish Brown Soda Bread

Irish Brown Soda Bread

Ingredients:

  • 250g extra coarse wholemeal flour
  • 250g plain white flour plus a little extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon bread soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400ml buttermilk

To Bake:

Preheat the oven to 200°

Add the wholemeal flour, plain flour, salt and bread soda into a large mixing bowl, give it a little stir with a spoon, then make a well in the centre of the ingredients and pour the buttermilk into it.

Now that all the ingredients are in the bowl, it’s time to mix, I use a an electric kitchen machine with a dough hook for this but you can also hand knead it, just use a lot of flour on your hands and the surface as it’s a very wet sticky mixture.

Get a baking tray, cover it with a baking sheet and sprinkle some plain white flour on top.

Place kneaded mixture onto the middle of the tray, sprinkle with flour and shape to a round. Last thing you need to do before putting in the oven is engrave a cross on the top of the bread with a knife.

Place in the preheated oven for approx 35 minutes, you will know it is finished by tapping the bottom of the loaf, if you hear a hollow sound it’s done.

4

Tea Brack

Well I had to start my blog with a firm family favourite and with Halloween around the corner it’s the perfect time to bake it too!

This recipe is taken from Edible Ireland

This recipe makes 2 loaves but if you only want to make one, simply half the ingredients, same cooking time though!

Ingredients:

  • 200g raisins
  • 200g sultanas
  • 200g currants
  • 100g chopped dates
  • 600ml hot, strong black tea
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 400g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 level teaspoons of mixed spice

I can never make just one loaf of this tea brack, it is way too popular with my family. One loaf stays with us and the other always makes its way down to my Dad who is its biggest fan.

Preparation

Put the raisins, sultanas, currants and chopped dates into a very large mixing bowl. Pour the hot tea into the bowl and cover the bowl with a plate, leave overnight to soak.

Tea Soaked Fruit

Tea Soaked Fruit

Now to Bake

In the morning when you’re bright eyed and bushy tailed, preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two 450 g (1 lb) loaf tins with parchment paper.

Add in the eggs, self-raising flour, soft light brown sugar and mixed spice to the fruit and tea mixture. Stir well until everything is just combined. (Because there is a large amount of ingredients in one bowl I recommend using an electric kitchen machine and dough hook to do this.) Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tins. Bake for about 90 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack, your house will smell divine all day!

Tea Brack

The finished product. Can be stored in an air tight container.