Our Daily Bread

I am mad about bread. I love all types but brown soda bread is something i believe to be above all other breads. I almost get offended at non-Irish people who announce their dislike for the bread. Maybe it’s because they haven’t tried homemade soda bread instead they are basing their judgement on the dry, sour green bread you get in supermarkets – not a scratch on the homemade version. Mammy and her Sisters  take bread very seriously they share recipes,methods and slices regularly (unfortunately one has been omitted from this circle since she was diagnosed with celiac disease, now she is pitied). I find wherever you may go if there is good bread the place can’t be too bad. I find kindred spirits in those who make bread. This Particular recipe is from a cousin of Mammy’s it contains lots of different grains and “healthy stuff” but the result is a really wholesome loaf. It is so simple to make and lovely served with anything from soup to paté but I like it with this homemade raspberry jam for breakfast.

Mary Breens Brown Bread

225g of wholewheat flour

70g of wholemeal flour

40g of wheatgerm

40g of oat bran

40g of wheat bran

40g of pin head oatmeal

3 rounded tsp of bread soda

pinch of salt

500ml of butter milk (or natural yogurt)

Seeds/rolled oats to top it (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 2b loaf tin with loaf liners (handy pieces of grease proof paper made to fit in a loaf tin availible at good supermarkets or kitchen shops) or grease it well. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Slowly mix in the milk. Stir well until all the mixture is comined. It should resemble thick porridge. Pour into loaf tin and flatten with the back of a fork. Top with seeds or oats if using. Place in oven and cook for about 50 minutes. The loaf is cooked when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottem. I would reccomend taking it out of the tin for the last 10 minutes and turning it upside down.

Rasperry Jam

Any sort of berry can be used in this jam. Raspberries are the easiest as they have high level of pectin but logan berries, blackberries,  are also good. If using strawberries add a squeeze of lemon to help it set.

400g of Raspberries ( I use Frozen)

400g of sugar

Put a saucer in the fride this will be used to test the jam later.Put the raspberries into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring slowly. Cook for 25 minutes. Meanwhile put the sugar in the bottom of a low oven to heat through. Stir the sugar into the raspberries and cook for about 15 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat up and boil for 10 minutes. To test the jam and see if it’s done, remove the saucer from the fridge and put a small spoonful of jam on it. Leave for a minute or so, then Push the jam with your finger if the it wrinkles it is set. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Remove any scum that has formed on the surface before potting in sterilised jars and seal tightly.

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