My memories of Ireland are as cloudy as the point and shoot camera I bought last minute at a tourist shop in the airport.
I remember the Book of Kells glittering behind a glass frame underneath an orange haloed light amidst the darkness of mahogany wood echoing the velvety soda bread sweetened with honey and black treacle, topped with a pat of butter, lazily perched on my knee, journal at the open, thoughts overflowing.
I remember grass so green you could walk on it barefoot, a tartan picnic blanket topped with of a brack of candied fruit and a steaming mug of deep Irish tea.
I remember multicolored Georgian doors, the silvery gray stonework of Christchurch cathedrals, glass covered passageways, the Guinness factory (scary locale, out in the middle of nowhere, might not suggest going alone!). And since I’m diverted by random asides, ever had a dark Guinness stout bun reminiscent of caramely pumpernickel??? On second thought, go alone if you must…Guinness baked in bread…the staff of life!
Clearly, I remember the bread most of all. Like croissants to Paris, Stollen to Dresden, or Olliebollen to the Netherlands, it turns out the Irish and their soda bread just may have you beat! A no-knead, flexible dough transformed into a world of possibilities! As I type this, I’m currently munching on a mini loaf thickened with hearty oats, accompanied by a good quality jam and a dram of homemade Irish Cream.
This recipe comes from Imen McDonnell’s Farmette cookbook. Purchased less than a week ago, I’ve already made 3 recipes all of which required seconds and several of which were stolen by hungry family members who are already begging for more. I’m so enamored with this book that I can’t stop cooking long enough to actually read it!!
Condolences to my family….but Imen said I could eat this one all by myself! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Slainte xoxo
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2½ tablespoons rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/16 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon of Guinness Extra Stout dark ale
- 1/2 tablespoon black treacle (molasses)
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Whisk all ingredients into a smooth batter. Decant into a mini loaf pan, sprinkle with rolled oats and bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes until deep velvety brown in color and a cake tester comes out clean at the center.
- Yields 1 mini loaf
- Scullery Notes (Imen - I love this series...I love the way this phrase sounds!): Imen suggests covering this with a damp tea towel whilst it warms to room temperature. It's the best bread baking trick I've ever learned!