Today is the kind of day that I dreamed about when I moved to Ireland. The day where you share soup and bread with your family, you get warmed up from the inside and watch the rain slide down the window.
I make soups from most festering vegetables or leftovers that I discover in the fridge. Today it is a dahl style concoction which in another life was Saturday night’s curry extravaganza. Soups are a brilliant and healthy way of filling up at lunchtime and a rather smug way of avoiding throwing stuff away. My eldest son is not a soup fan, we have to have a full scale negotiation on the way home from school where I lay the facts out in front of him. Usually I can persuade him. My key negotiating tool is wheaten bread.
Wheaten bread was introduced to me by my husband as an integral part of Northern Irish culture. Some people call it whole wheat soda. It is so easy to make as there is no yeast involved and it definately subscribes to what my mother always called “The Bung it in School of Cookery”. Wheaten bread is equally at home with a bowl of soup as it is with some sweet jam at tea time. I have even seen some take it toasted with a poached egg oozing its golden yolk on top.
There is one warning though. If I make a loaf of wheaten bread it doesn’t see the day out. It disappears like a flash, so if you want some you have to be quick.
This recipe was extracted from my husband’s aunt. I started making it when we lived in England to remind him of home.
8oz wheaten (whole wheat) flour
2 oz strong white flour
2oz brown sugar
1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
1 tspn cream or tartar
½ pint of buttermilk (if you can’t get buttermilk you can sour milk by squeezing about 4 tspns of lemon juice in and letting it stand for 5 minutes)
1 handful of oats
1. Preheat the oven to about 180 C
2. Beat your egg in with the milk in a jug
3. Put all the dry ingrediants together in a large bowl and mix till you have well
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix really well to form a batter
5. Pour into a loaf tin, and, if you like, sprinkle some more oats along the top.
6. Bake for 35 – 45 mins until a knife comes out clean. I usually check at around 35.
7. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes or so.
8. Watch it fly off the plate.
Make it different;
Try using seeds like pumpkin seeds through it and/or on the top