Category Archives: Brown bread

Cold plate warms the heart

I finally got out of the house on Saturday, which was a good thing as cabin fever was starting to set in. I had to go up to Lismore in Co Waterford, to do some interviews at the Immrama festival.

Got the interviews out of the way in the morning and having wound up the second one about quarter to one, I suddenly felt very hungry indeed.I knew I would be in Lismore all day – I was going to the sessions of the writers I’d interviewed – so I figured I’d have dinner later in the newly refurbished Lismore House Hotel.

No point in eating there twice I thought so I wandered down the street and went into the first pub I came to – Eamonn’s. Eamonn was behind the counter. I always take it as a good sign to find the person whose name is over the door is also the person dishing out the drinks, whatever about the grub.

Eamonn’s is a proper pub, not very big, kind of old-fashioned but without bicycles hanging on the wall and what I can only describe as all that shite you sometimes get in both rural Irish pubs and mockeeyah Oirish pubs.

“Have you any sandwiches?” I asked Eamonn. He regarded me dolefully. I half-expected him to say “No”. I smiled encouragingly at him. “We have soup and sandwiches,” he said before taking a deep breath and rattling off the full menu.

“We have soup homemade mushroom soup sandwiches toasted sandwiches cold plates you know cold plates with chicken and home-cooked ham or smoked salmon cold plates tea coffee and sweets.”

I don’t know when I last heard anyone refer to dessert as “sweets”. It was rather endearing. I opted for a chicken and ham cold plate and took a seat in the corner.

Maybe it was my copy of The Guardian, my too-trendy glasses or the overall cut of me but Eamonn had his doubts. He came over with cutlery.

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Timers of the essence to good bread

After surpassing expectations (mine and anyone else’s) with the second batch of brown bread, things didn’t go so well third time around. Pride comes before a fall and all that.

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Top tip for brown bread lovers

Following on from this week’s experiments in brown bread making, my sister-in-law (a veritable queen in the kitchen) has made an eminently sensible suggestion.

“My mother passed on a tip to me for making brown bread: she weighs out several portions of the dry ingredients and puts them in individual sandwich bags so it is like her own ready-made brown bread mix. It takes the pain out of making bread, as all you do when you want bread is mix the contents of your bag with the buttermilk. I think this is great, as sometimes I find it so much hassle if I have to weigh out all the stuff.”

I couldn’t agree more so will have a little weighing session later on.

A whole loaf…and it’s good

Had another bash at brown bread this morning. Doubled the quantities to fit my 2lb loaf tin, used buttermilk and wheatgerm and scattered poppy seeds on top. Complete success. A+.