18 March, 2012

Wheaten Bread for St. Patrick's Day

I know it's a day late but in honour of St. Patrick's Day (and just because I wanted to) I decided to make Irish wheaten bread.

I've wanted to go to Ireland since I was a little girl. I think the initial reason had something to do with a movie I saw about fairies (or faeries...I'm not sure what the difference is) and leprechauns. Ireland seemed to be a magical place with the sea and the fisherman that lived by the sea, with women that had thick red hair and with mysterious, dark men that spoke in lilting accents.... Whatever the initial reason, Ireland has been the place that comes to mind when people ask, "if you could go to one place in the world, where would it be?"
Well, this December I finally got to visit Ireland with my siblings. We stayed in Dublin and then in Lisbon, just outside of Belfast. It was beautiful, over and above my expectations, and this brief description could never do it justice! I got to experience the windiest day of my life when we traveled to the coast and saw Giant's Causeway, I felt the amazing warmth and hospitality of the Irish, discovered their teasing humour and tasted their amazing food! But my appetite for the country has not been satisfied, only whetted and teased; I am determined to go back! I want to see the country in the Summer, to learn more about its history, about the division between north and south, to spend time with the people who showed me such love.

One thing I enjoyed in Northern Ireland is wheaten bread - a hearty, grainy bread. Here's Mrs Bittle's (our hostess in Lisbon) recipe...enjoy a little taste of Ireland!

Wheaten Bread

2 C wholewheat flour (actually its wheaten meal flour but I assume wholewheat is the American equivalent)
3/4 C plain flour
1/3 C rolled oats (heaped)
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter/margarine softened
1 C buttermilk

Mix all the dry ingredients. Bind with the marg and buttermilk. (dough will be dry-ish...I found mixing it with me hands easier) Place into greased and floured loaf pan and cook on 150 C/ 300 F for about an hour. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove and cover with a cloth.
Tastes great hot with butter - eat for breakfast or afternoon tea!