Salad cream and beetroot?… No
Baked ham and strong cheddar? Ok, getting there….
Baked ham, cheddar and salad cream?… Now you’re talking
This is usually my mental dilemma when there’s been some brown bread freshly baked.
It started with my granny’s legendary brown bread at tea time on a sunday evening. We’d go down to County Cavan and there’d be a spread laid out for us, ready to attack. She’d have brown bread with assortments of cold meats, cheeses, vegetables and of course lots and lots of tea….or barley water for me as a child. This also started my love affair of jarred beetroot on brown bread but I’m not going to scare you off altogether.
The recipe for this bread is very simple and needs such little preparation time. The only alteration that I had to make from my mums recipe was the flour. I haven’t found the correct type of flour that I can usually get easily in Ireland. The flour here is almost like white flour with just a bit of roughness added. The Irish are pretty rough anyway, so I’m not sure if I will find a Dutch match. I shall keep looking though, and I will find it, some day.
Recipe as follows makes one loaf
450g of wholemeal flour
2 tsp of bread soda or bicarbonate of soda
110g of plain flour
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
60g of mixed seeds eg sunflower seeds (extra for sprinkling on top)
600ml of buttermilk or sour milk
1 large egg
Preheat your oven to 160°c or gas mark 3 and prepare a loaf tin by sealing it will butter and flour or by simply brushing some oil on the inside.
First step is to just put all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix together, then in a separate bowl add the egg to the buttermilk and mix lightly.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk egg mixture. With a large spoon or even your hands get all the ingredients incorporated until it forms a sloppy porridge like mixture. Pour all of this into your prepared tins and sprinkle some of the left over seeds on top.
Put the bread into the middle rack of the oven, and leave to bake for around 45 mins. After this time, take out of the oven and check to see if fully baked. If fully baked, it should be hollow when you knock the bottom of the bread with your knuckles and if you stick a knife into the middle it should come out clean. If not fully cooked, put back into the oven without it’s tin, for a further 5 mins or so.
Leave to sit on a wire rack and when fully cooled….enjoy with lashings of whatever takes your fancy.