Hello and welcome to all about food. This week we’re getting back to beautiful basics. Enjoy!
My mum baked bread everyday and I always enjoyed watching this daily ritual. I use to time my mother and within four minutes she would have the bread in the oven having only used her hands to measure all the ingredients.
For some reason the thoughts of baking bread brings out the greatest fear in many people. I think part of the reason for this mental block is down the perceived difficulty of using yeast, proving dough, ‘knocking it back’, double proving it etc.
It really isn’t as daunting as it may sound, once you gain confidence in making my easiest brown bread ever, you’ll want to go further and before long you’ll be heading towards master baker standard!
Gingergirl’s easiest brown bread
Makes two 2lb loaves
700g of coarse wholemeal flour
300g of plain flour
2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons of soft brown sugar
A pinch of salt
1,200mls of buttermilk
* Preheat your oven to 175ºc. Line two 2lb loaf tins (use loaf tin-liners if possible as they’re so much easier)
* Combine all the dry ingredients. Mix in the buttermilk - the mixture will be quite runny but don't panic!
* Pour the mixture into the two loaf tins. Bake for approx fifty-five minutes. To ensure the bread is cooked insert a skewer, if it doesn’t come out clean, leave for a few minutes longer until it does.
And finally: Rosemary and garlic oil
Every so often I make flavoured oil – you can buy such oils but often the quality isn’t there. Simply combine 500ml of olive oil with three sprigs of rosemary and three cloves of garlic roughly chopped.
Simmer in a small saucepan over a low heat for twenty minutes. Allow to cool, strain and pour into a sterilised bottle. Store in the fridge. Simple!
Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutneys made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.
Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Tipperary Star, Friar Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary.
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