The Comforts of Home

by Ward Gahan
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The Comforts of Home

Although we all may have had a wee bit too much time at home over the last months, we think if you are going to be there, why not celebrate the comforts of home? And when a true Irishman thinks about the comforts of home after hearing that November 17th is "Homemade Bread Day" thoughts immediately go to an Irish soda bread or even a traditional brown bread. You'll find the delightful brown bread served with most dinners in Ireland. When you pop on some creamy Irish butter or add your favorite preserves, your mind will have forgotten about the stress of the day as you enjoy this hearty loaf. 

Celtic Whiskey Bar & LarderWild Side Charcuteri

When we were in Killarney last year, we stopped by the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder for a quick bite. I had to have their Smoked Haddock and Prawn Chowder. It was delightful on its own but it was also served with a side of brown bread. The soup was really quite enough to warm me up but we also ordered the Wild Side Charcuterie for the girls - my wife and our friend. It was a nice selection of meats, cheeses, brown bread and crackers. If you are around Co. Kerry, Ireland we recommend you give this establishment a try. Not only was it a fine little place, they had an interesting wall of facts about Irish whiskey through the years. We’re glad to see that they are still serving through this pandemic. The restrictions have been tough on the small businesses in Ireland, as they are everywhere. If you are able, we appreciate you supporting the small businesses in the US and abroad.

The plate was perfect as a light meal that night. Making a similar tray at home as a meal, for snacking on your own or serving others is a simple feat when you have the right serving boards and a local grocery. Start with the Biddy Murphy Exclusive Charcuterie Boards from our maker-partners, Caulfield Country Boards in Co. Meath, Ireland. They are available in a couple of sizes and your choice of ash, beech and walnut. Throw in a selection of meats, cheeses, olives and of course, your homemade brown bread along with some crackers and there you have it -  a board that is darn near the one we enjoyed that night in Killarney.

Serving boards

I may have gotten a bit sidetracked for a moment. Sorry about that. It’s me. When I started thinking about food - glorious brown bread and that hearty soup, I got a little distracted! Anyway, Irish chef, Kevin Dundon shares his brown bread recipe on his website so we’ve included it here for you as well. And if you are not into baking, you can pop over to watch Kevin as he makes a traditional loaf. The ladies might think he's not only a great chef and snappy dresser, but also a bit nice on the eyes! 🤓 Chef Kevin does a great job of keeping your attention when you are watching his videos. He’s had some practice you know, heading up the kitchens at the Dunbrody Country House. You’ll find his recipe below but before I lose your attention, I wanted to thank you again for supporting Biddy Murphy through the years. We are a proud, small, Irish family business located along the shores of Lake Michigan. We are grateful to be able to tell the stories of our travels back to the Motherland and promote the artisans and craftsmen who are preserving the culture and traditions of Ireland.



Kevin Dundon’s Traditional Brown Bread

12ozs/350g wholemeal flour

2ozs/50g plain flour

2oz/50g porridge oats

Pinch salt

2 level teaspoon bread soda

2 large eggs

1 dessert spoon of sunflower oil

18flozs/500ml buttermilk.

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3

Put the flours, sieved bread soda, salt and porridge oats into a large mixing bowl and well them well.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs together with the oil and add to the dry mixture.

Next mix in the buttermilk and get the mix to a “sloppy” consistency.

Pour into a 2lb loaf tin and smooth the top of the bread with a wet spoon.

Sprinkle some seeds or porridge oats on top of the bread and bake in the oven for 1 hour.

After the hour has elapsed remove the bread from the tin and return to the oven to bake for a further 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool down.

Additional Notes:

2 tablespoons treacle in the wet mix makes darker & sweeter bread.

This bread stays fresh for about 4-5 days.

It can be successfully frozen.

The mixture can be spooned into muffin tins and baked (approx 25-30 minutes @ 180C)

Fresh milk mixed with lemon juice or natural yoghurt could also be used.

by Ward Gahan


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