Celebrating the Ordinary: Day Six
Lately, I have found myself longing to taste my Mum’s traditional Irish baking – her apple tarts, her scones, and her brown bread. In Ireland we have a saying “just like Mammy used to make”, and while nothing will ever come close to the taste of my mother’s brown bread, I am on a mission to try to recreate it even in a small way.
There was never any point in asking Mum for the recipe, as she was of the old I don’t measure anything school of baking. As I haven’t reached the stage in my life, when that works for me, I’ve been experimenting with recipes to try to recreate her brown bread. Here is the latest, baked this morning…a dull drizzly end of summer day…perfect for celebrating an Irish baking tradition.
Traditional Irish Brown Bread
- 350g Wholemeal Flour
- 25g Wheat Bran
- 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar (optional)
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 teaspoon Bread Soda (sieved)
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 300ml pint Milk
- 125g Carton Hazlenut Yoghurt
- Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin.
- Put wholemeal, wheat bran, sugar, salt and sieved bread soda into a mixing bowl and mix well together.
- Add the oil, milk and yoghurt and stir until well blended. Mixture will be quite wet.
- Transfer to the prepared tin. I like to sprinkle some linseeds on top.
- Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
- Bread is baked when tapped underneath and it has a hollow sound.
- Wrap in a clean tea towel and allow to cool.
Lovely! Your mum would be proud. I too chase the elusive idea of recreating my mom’s specialties (she was the kind of cook for whom everything was a specialty, and she made it all look easy). I’m a decent cook, but I’ve not been able to capture a single dish the way she made them. Eight years later, I still try! Maybe I’ll switch to your mom’s recipe. I assume bread soda is the same as baking soda?
Yes! That is a perfect description of my own mother’s cooking style – she made it all look easy, but I can’t seem to find her knack. Regarding the bread soda…I found this useful explanation http://aww.ninemsn.com.au/food/cookingtips/790073/baking-soda-bicarb-soda-baking-powder-whats-the-difference
Marie, this post brings up an excellent reminder to those fortunate enough to still have your mothers – call them, ask for their recipes, their histories and advice – enjoy the ordinary with them while you can!
What a lovely thing to say Cara…and what a great idea!
I love that you listened to your heart and made that lovely brown bread Marie. Sometimes what our hearts say is so simple we discount it. http://www.martinebrennan.com/4/post/2012/08/listening-to-your-heart.html
Martine, it’s a beautiful post x
Oh Marie … you know yourself how this post takes me home. I remember apple tarts (with a ring inside at Halloween) and butterfly buns, scones, Victoria sponges, wheaten loaves … all perfect and not a recipe book in sight!! On Wednesdays when the shops were only open half the day, ma baked in the afternoon, and I would come home to those wonderful smells. She’d tell me not to bang the door if there was a fruit loaf in the oven … I don’t remember the reasoning but I must ask her when she rings this weekend. Oh I just love this post … I need to try to get home for a visit.
You know I thought of you I was writing this and what a great job you would do if you were writing it in your evocative style.. 😉 Oh and you don’t bang the door or else the fruit cake would collapse in the oven 😉
Oh that’s right!!! Now the memories are all rushing back … my favorite thing about the fruit cake was picking the burnt raisins and sultanas that stuck to the greaseproof paper around the top of the baking tin 😉
Guess what I have in the oven right now? A traditional fruit cake – am using Jenny Bristow’s recipe..was she on TV when you were home? Her shows were on UTV and my Mum loved her recipes..I bought her a cook book of JB which I now have..
Funny, I’ve been thinking of bread, too. I often make it, but haven’t for quite a while. I used to make it as a girl with my mom or grandmother, often using an old hand-cranked bread mixer – basically an old bucket with a crank on top. I still always mix bread by hand, would never use any electric contraption for bread:)
Lovely, Marie! I too feel that bond when I pull out the old recipes. Luckily I have many of the ones my mom used. In fact, in the last month or so my son and I have been baking challah, a special sabbath bread together on Friday afternoons. It’s been a wonderful way for us to stay connected as he moves ever-closer to growing up!
That’s a lovely image Lori – and a wonderful gift to pass on to your son xxx
Oh that looks delicious, Marie. I’ll have to make it. My Mum made a delicious brown bread using molasses and whole wheat flour. She said the recipe was handed down to her by her Mom, and who knows how many generations before. A little cream cheese on each slice, and voila! I was in heaven every time I partook. Now, like you, I make it myself. Thanks for sharing this extraordinary slice of your world. xox
Well now Jan..molasses is a great addition – I have added it to my spelt bread and I think I will tweak my brown bread recipe by adding it to. Thanks for the reminder x
Marie, this looks so yummy! Now to the calculator to figure out conversions! 😉
There’s nothing like making a recipe from your mom. But I agree there is a magic ingredient that is always missing from all her recipes — her! I am fortunate to have my mom still with me and living nearby. And I have made her many things over the past three years and brought them to her to enjoy. She likes everything I make, but I can’t tell you how often she has said, “It was good, but it wasn’t how I used to make it!” LOL!!
there is a magic ingredient that is always missing from all her recipes — her! .. oh Renn, do you know how right you are about this!
there is a magic ingredient that is always missing from all her recipes — her .. oh Renn, do you know how right you are about this! #tears
Pingback: Celebrating the Ordinary – Sixth Day : Mourning Has Broken
Oh, my! That looks good! I’ve never made brown bread, but the ingredients sound terrific. Hazelnut yogurt all by itself is a winner. I’ve been thinking about making some zucchini bread for a while, but know I will eat the whole thing, and I don’t need all of those calories… After talking about making bread, I may have to reconsider.
Oh you can kid yourself that zucchini bread is healthy Brenda 😉 I love it too..although here we call it courgette cake…wonder why that is? 🙂
Molasses will really make a difference, I think. My new post is at http://janhasak.com/blog/?p=2491.
I haven’t kept up the daily pace with pictures, but I am trying to keep celebrating the ordinary daily. Here is my second picture:
Thanks again for getting this positive snowball rolling Marie!
Hi Lisa, thanks for joining in the challenge..it’s great to have you on board.
Pingback: domestic affairs « time to consider the lilies