Category Archives: Bread & Scones

Food Monday ~ Bread

At some stage last year I visited a small craft & food fair.

Being small it gave ample opportunity to chat to all the exhibitors. The food stalls had the added bonus of tasting their wares: Chutneys, jams, breads and cakes. I bought a coffee and wandered happily sipping in the sunshine and talking to every one I met.

One particular bread took my fancy… the memory of the taste stayed with me all day.

Late that night I went searching online… and found exactly what I wanted.
I bookmarked it for use at a future date.

Stuff happens… time passes… and it was the following week before I printed out my recipe.

I was short one vital ingredient and vowed to add it to my shopping list. Again weeks passed into months, but eventually, I remembered to add the required liquid to my basket: A bottle of Guinness.

Truth be told, there was another recipe I wanted to try with Guinness, so my purchase was a 500ml bottle. That covered both recipes and a few mouthfuls to quench my thirst as I worked! By now I think you know where this is going…

Guinness® Bread
Preheat oven to 220°C

75g porridge oats
250g wholemeal flour*
100g dark brown soft sugar
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
50g melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225ml buttermilk
330 ml Guinness® beer (1 bottle)

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (gas mark 7). Grease an 23 x 30cm baking.
Mix together the oats, flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl, stir together the butter, vanilla, buttermilk and Guinness®. Pour the flour mixture into the beer mixture, and gently stir until well blended. Pour mixture into the prepared baking tin, and sprinkle with additional oats if desired.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 200°C and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Turn the oven off, open the door, and allow to cool for 30 minutes in the oven before turning out onto a wire rack.
Serve warm with butter and honey.

*I found this to be a very wet mixture, think pouring rather than the usual stiff Wheaten bread, I added a little more wholemeal flour, in Mammy fashion:- Stuck my hand in the bag and sprinkled about half my handful to the mix. One of these days I must weigh ‘my handful’!

The quantities above gave me a 2lb loaf and a skimpy 1lb loaf. I made both Guinness recipes last Monday, the day before Elly & George arrived. Naturally, I cut into the little one as soon as it was cold. I loved it. So did Elly & George.

I have tried it with smoked salmon, hummus, marmalade and with a skim of Chocolate nut spread and topped with mashed banana. They all worked for me. I made it on a Monday and the last two slices were just as soft and delicious on Saturday – five days later. With normal wheaten bread, I would need to toast it by the third day.

I will make it again.

The other recipe will show up next Monday… in the meantime I need visit the off-licence!

Food Monday ~ Bath Buns

We had fun with my Bathing Bath Buns last Saturday.
My quantities made a baker’s dozen (13).

Bath Buns

400g strong white flour
50g caster sugar
125ml milk
75ml warm water
1 x 15ml spoon dried yeast
1 x 5ml spoon salt
50g butter
125g muesli*
2 eggs
Fat for greasing
Beaten egg for glazing
Demerara sugar for sprinkling

Sift about 75g of the flour and 5ml sugar into a large bowl.
Warm the milk until it is hand hot and add the water to the milk and sprinkle on the dried yeast.
Pour the yeast liquid into the flour and sugar and beat well. Leave the bowl in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Sift the remainder of the flour and the salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter.
Add the caster sugar and the muesli.
Beat the egg into the frothy yeast mixture  and add the flour, fat and fruit mixture.
Mix to a very soft dough. Beat with a wooden spoon for three minutes.
Cover the bowl with lightly oiled polythene, a damp tea-towel or a large plate. Leave it in a warm place for 45 minutes or until the dough has almost doubled in size.
Beat the dough again for 1 minute then place 15 ml spoonfuls of the mixture on a greased baking sheet leaving plenty of space between them. Recover and leave in a warm place for 20 minutes or until the buns have almost doubled in size. Then brush each surface of each bun with beaten egg and sprinkle with the Demerara sugar.
Bake at 220°C for 15 -20 minutes.

*My Muesli has raisins, sultanas, dried apricots, dates, papaya, pineapple and sweetened dried banana, mixed oat, wheat and barley flakes.

Food Monday ~ Orange Bran Loaf

Orange Bran Loaf
Preheat the oven to 180°C

4 ozs of Self Raising Flour
1 oz wholemeal flour
2 ozs bran
1 level teaspoon baking soda
3 ozs soft butter
3 ozs sultanas
1 egg, beaten
5 oz carton of fruit yoghurt
1 orange, rind and 2 tablespoons of juice
4 ozs soft brown sugar
½ level teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Rub the butter into the flours, then add all the remaining ingredients.
Put into a greased 2 lb loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes. Cool in the tin for ten minutes and then turn out onto cooling rack until it is cold.

Food Monday ~ Rock Buns

Today I take a trip down memory lane..  It is a very long lane.
52 years ago this week, I had my very first official cookery lesson.  I had been cooking and helping in the kitchen at mammy’s side for many years before that.

This first lesson was at school.  Today I reproduce that recipe.

Rock buns.
Preheat the oven to 200°C

225g self raising flour
Pinch salt
100g butter
75g mixed dried fruit
25g mixed candied peel
50g caster sugar
1 egg size 3
Milk to mix

Mix the flour and salt and rub in the butter.
Stir in the dried fruit, mixed peel and sugar.
Mix to a stiff dough with egg and milk.
Place in rough spoonfuls on a greased baking sheet
Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Do you have an early memory of cooking?

Food Monday ~ Mammy’s Brown Bread

Mammy’s bread making implements were a large baking bowl, a tablespoon, a teaspoon and a bone handled table knife for mixing the dough.  We had no scales back then so it was handfuls or spoonfuls.  It worked well.

Brown Wheaten Bread
Preheat oven to 190°C
4 ozs plain flour – (1 mammy’s handful)
12 ozs wheaten meal (3 Mammy’s handfuls)
1 level teaspoon bread soda (bicarbonate) that is what mammy called it!
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
1 oz margarine
½ egg + buttermilk

Sift Plain flour, bicarbonate of soda & salt in a bowl. Rub in margarine. Add wheaten meal and sugar and mix with the white flour. Make well in centre add beaten egg and buttermilk and mix well. Flour 2lb loaf tin and pour in mixture. Even out and mark into quarters.
Bake for 45 minutes
Test – The bread is cooked when it sounds hollow to a tap on the base of the loaf. Remove from tin, wrap in clean tea towel and leave on cake rack to cool.

In the past I have given you my updated version of Wheaten bread.

Food Monday ~ Daddy’s Bread

No!  Daddy did not cook, bake or boil the kettle.  He did eat and this bread was a favourite.
You might know it as:

White Soda Bread
Preheat oven to 180°C – 190°C

1 lb self raising flour (4 Mammy’s handfuls)
Pinch salt
Pinch sugar
1½ ozs butter or margarine
½ egg + buttermilk

Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter or margarine.  Add the egg and buttermilk reserving a little for brushing the top.  Knead lightly on a floured surface and transfer to tin or baking sheet.  (Mammy always used sandwich tins for her bread to give a uniform shape.
Run a knife across the top of the dough at right angles to form a cross.  Brush with egg and milk.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Once baked (test by tapping on the base of the loaf, it should sound hollow) mammy always wrapped the bread in a clean teatowel and set it on a cooling rack.

* I often cut into the bread while it was still warm,  I was the only one to get away with it!
Warm Daddy’s bread fresh from the oven with home made raspberry jam…. heaven on a plate! 😀

** This bread is best on the day of baking and it is NOT a candidate for freezing.  Perhaps this is why Mammy made one cake of white bread and two brown (wheaten) every day.

Food Monday ~ Scones

In my post last Tuesday I mentioned scones.  Some of my American friends are unsure of what Irish scones are like or how they are made.  Well Grannymar aims to please, so I called on good old YouTube and found this:-

Everyone has their own recipe and below I give you mine.

Preheat the oven to 200°C

8ozs Plain Flour
2-teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoon of Cream of Tartar
½ teaspoon Salt
2oz Butter or Margarine.
Approx. ¼ pint of Milk
A small Egg, beaten

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and cream of tartar together.

Rub in the butter or margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and then mix to firm-ish dough with the milk and about half of the egg.

On a floured surface, pat the mixture out to a thickness of about 1in and cut the scones, either with a knife or a circular cutter.

Place on a floured baking tray and brush the tops with milk mixed with the remaining egg.

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes.Cool on a wire tray.


Fruit scones – Add 2oz sultanas.
Cherry Scones – Add 2ozs cherries, halved
Cheese Scones – Add 2ozs cheese, grated
For a special treat try Raspberries and White Chocolate.

Food Monday ~ Cereal Breads

Cereal Breads

The Supermarkets are all at it right now, so why not Grannymar. So to celebrate the holiday season we have two for the price of one. They are both very simple but require steeping the fruit and cereal overnight.

All Bran Health loaf

1 cup* All Bran
1 cup* soft brown sugar
1 cup* mixed dried fruit
Steep overnight in 1 cup of milk
Add 1 cup* Self Raising flour & mix well.

Pour into greased 2lb loaf tin and bake in a preheated oven at 160° for about 1½ hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cover the loaf with greaseproof paper for the last half hour.

* Deborah uses the following explanation for a cup measurement:

A cup is an American volume measure of eight fluid ounces. Use a mixing jug with fluid ounces on the side and fill to the 8oz mark, to measure one cup each of flour, sugar, fruit and All Bran. It’s a rough estimate that cannot be converted to grams accurately. Once you get used to using this system it becomes extremely easy!

Weetabix Loaf

3 Weetabix
6-8ozs mixed dried fruit
6-8ozs dark brown sugar
¾ pint of milk
Steep overnight
Add 8ozs Self Raising flour & mix well.

Pour into greased 2lb loaf tin and bake in a preheated oven at 160° for about 1½ hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cover the loaf with greaseproof paper for the last half hour.

Steph, I wonder if this recipe works with Ready Brek.