Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The Bread of Life

This recipe is about a simple soda bread but it means so much to me and has a long connection with my family. It has been handed down from my maternal great grandmother who lived in a beautiful old Irish farm house in Glendaloughlan in the Nire Valley. In the old days the bread was made with separated milk baked in a oven pot on top of the open fire. Red hot coals that covered the pot gave the bread a lovely crunchy crust and a special flavour all of its own.
Now my own daughter Mollie, the fourth generation is making the bread and it tastes as good as ever.

you will need;

1 lb of plain white flour
1/2 lb of Howards one way course brown flour
1 level teaspoon of bread soda
good pinch of salt
1 free range egg
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pints of buttermilk.

Mix the dry ingredients together, letting the flour fall between your fingers to air ate it, now make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and most of the buttermilk. Working from the centre mix with your hand and add more milk if necessary. The dough should be soft and floppy. Turn out on a floured surface and knead lightly, shape it into a round, flatten it slightly and mark it with a deep cross and bake in a hot oven at 180c for 30-40 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.

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