“Bread is the king of the table and all else is merely the court that surrounds the king. The countries are the soup, the meat, the vegetables and the salad. But bread is king.”~Louis Bromfield
On Saturday I hosted, in my home, a sort of food workshop for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day. Twas a grand little scheme concocted mostly by my friend, Tae.
It involved about twenty or so people coming up from Melbourne to my home in the country, watching a few different people cook and explain some food and then eating it for lunch/dinner (gotta work on the combo work for that- Linner? Dunch?).
I’m going to slowly post the recipes we cooked that day up here. The first of which is the Irish soda bread made by Marcus. It’s a family recipe handed down. So, as with most family recipes, it’s more heart and soul than strict measurements.
The first little note I need to make here was that he brought his own measuring cup which wasn’t a cup at all, but a large coffee mug!! He left it at my house (possibly forgotten or perhaps a little gift to help me along with my own bread making?). For interests sake, I measured the volume of the mug and it actually contains 1 1/3 cups-ish. To avoid confusion, I will write out the recipe with metric cup measurements.
Marcus said that this bread was best eaten with LASHINGS of cream cheese. Or maybe a bit of butter and apricot jam. Personally, I liked it with just a bit of butter and maybe dunked in a hearty soup. It tasted divine.
What I like about this bread is that it is quick. It doesn’t contain yeast so there is no rising time. Also, having no yeast means you can freeze the uncooked dough! WINNER!!
What you need:
- 1 1/3 cups bran
- 2 2/3 cups bakers’ flour (or plain flour…but bakers’ is best)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 400-500ml buttermilk
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 200 degC.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add the buttermilk 30 ml, kneading the mixture with your hands until you have a moist ball
- On a floured bench, knead the mixture by folding it in half on itself about 10-20 times. Sprinkle in extra bits of flour until becomes a nice, non-sticky dough.
- Shape in to a large ball and then flatten it a bit. You dough should be a bit larger than you can put two hands around. Score the surface with a knife so there is a big X across the whole loaf (this helps with cooking the middle).
- Cook in the oven at 200 degC for 10mins, then reduce heat to 180 for about 35 minutes. To check if your bread is cooked, tap it of the bottom. If you get a hollow sound it is ready!