Irish Wheaten Bread

Whilst I love nothing more than spending hours kneading and proving dough at the weekend, sometimes you just need a quick and easy midweek loaf.  As a family we love bread, my husband, in particular, has been known to munch on a chunk of dry bread on more than one occasion.  But buying good bread in HK can be expensive and the quality often not great, so I try where possible to make fresh bread at home.

This Irish wheaten bread recipe was given to me by my great friend Aimee & has become my go-to easy loaf.  I also love making this recipe because it brings back many fond memories of a rainy October week that we spent holed up in a quaint cottage, in the middle of nowhere, on the Isle of Skye.  I will always remember going to the local shop (a tiny hut tacked on the side of someone's house, 15 minutes drive down the road) and the only national newspaper on sale (2 days old of course!) featured the headline: '33 Days and counting: will it ever stop raining on Skye'.  Despite the rain, we had one of the most amazing holidays with fantastic home cooking, great wine and the best company.  That was the first time that Aimee made this for me, In the days before kids where we could sit for hours enjoying lazy breakfasts! I digress!! So anyway this is a fantastic, quick, easy loaf that goes particularly well with eggs or toasted with some jam.

RECIPE

Ingredients

175g Plain wholemeal flour sieved (course/medium) 

100g Plain flour

A knob of butter

1 Tsp baking soda sieved

1 Tsp brown sugar 

1/2 Tsp salt

350ml Buttermilk

Method

Makes a 1 lb loaf

Place flours in a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingers.  Fold in the rest of the dry ingredients and bind together with the buttermilk to give a very soft consistency.  Spoon into an oiled loaf tin (450g/1 lb) and bake at 200 degrees centigrade for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 180 degrees centigrade for a further 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool and serve.  Will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container.

If doubling the mixture for a 2 lb loaf tin or 2 x 1 lb loaf tins then bake for 40 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade.

If making for young children then the salt can be omitted.