Food & Drink Magazine

Sweet Wholemeal Bannock

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
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Well, January is certainly going out with a big bang!  We have had probably one of the mildest winter's on record (according to the weather people, it's still felt pretty cold to me!) and now Lady Winter has decided to remind us that she is boss by giving us a couple of really nasty days.   These days are perfect for staying inside all warm and cosy by the fire.
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Time to put your feet up and sit snug as a bug with a nice hot drink, your favorite book and a nice warm slice of this delicious soda bread spread with lotsa butter and some of that sunshine strawberry jam you made last summer!
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This soda bread is so easy to make and works up very quickly.  It's not that pretty.  Actually  . . .  I probably didn't quite knead it enough as I didn't want to toughen it, so mine is rather rough looking . . .  but made no difference to the taste or texture . . .  Just the outside!
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It's an Irish Bannock.  Soda bread.  Bannock.   A rose by any other name.  My ex's Aunt Rita used to make the most lovely cheese bannock.  All by sight.  No recipe.  Delicious.  (She's still going strong, in her late 90's and probably still baking bannock every now and again.)
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This has a beautiful light texture . . .  with a slight tang from the buttermilk.   (Oh don't you just adore things baked with buttermilk?)   A slight nuttiness from the wholemeal flour . . .  a little bit of sweet from the sugar.  Crisp crust.  Light and fluffy insides.  In short . . .  perfect.  Adapted from a recipe from the National Trust.
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*Sweet Wholemeal Bannock*
Makes one 8 inch round loafPrintable Recipe 
Wonderful served thinly sliced and warm with butter and jam.  The perfect Irish tea-time treat! 
350g of plain whole meal flour, sifted100g of plain white flour, sifted (1/2 cup plus a scant 1/4 cup)1 tsp baking soda50g of butter, softened (1/4 cup)2 dessert spoons of caster sugar (scant 3 TBS)200ml of buttermilk (7 fluid ounces)  
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Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter and line an 8 inch round baking tin.  (I used my Le Creuset casserole)  
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Whisk the flours together with the soda.  Rub in the butter to a fine crumb.  Add the sugar.  Stir in the buttermilk to give you a soft, pliable dough.  You may need a bit more or less depending.  Tip out onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly.  Shape into an 8 inch round.  Drop into the tin.   Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. 
Remove from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm, sliced and spread with softened butter.

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