This week, 13th – 18th October 2014, is Ireland’s first ever National Bread Week.
I think it is great to see the humble loaf of bread being honoured in such a way, after all it has been a staple in the Irish diet for years.
In recent times bread has been getting a lot of stick, we’ve been cutting it from our diets in the belief that it is hindering our weight loss attempts and leaving us bloated. Now, while I fully understand that some people are diagnosed as gluten intolerant, I do believe that other factors have to be taken into consideration when we blame bread for our dodgy tummies and expanding waistlines, and I speak from personal experience, there are some breads that would leave me feeling like there is a big knot tied in my stomach!!
These are the breads I now avoid, if it has a long list of ingredients that I cannot pronounce or don’t know what they are, I simply don’t consume it.
If you are interested in learning a little bit more about bread, please do have a read of this link here on the national bread week website.
So what do I do instead?? I bake our bread, well most of it anyway. I make White Yeast Bread, super for sandwiches, toast, making bread rolls, burger buns or bread sticks.
I make Soda Bread, wonderful with soup, boiled eggs, open sandwiches and my son loves a slice after school with his favourite jam and all of the children rush to the table for Soda Bread Pizza!! My mothers Brown Bread is another regular on our table, I love making this for the memories alone, and it is a delicious and very healthy loaf. I make lots of other breads too, such as Banana which is a lovely treat with homemade nutella on a lazy Saturday morning and of course others which will feature in future blog posts. My family are big bread eaters so I am constantly trying new recipes.
I would also encourage the use of Stoneground wholemeal flour, I use a very good one, Uncle Aidens Flour and instead of normal white flour, give spelt flour a go, it is more expensive but is also easier on the tummy for those who do have a reaction to flour.
Now I know what you’re thinking, that’s ok for you, you like to make bread, you’re able to make bread, what about the rest of us??
If you did fancy buying a bag of flour and dabbling in the wonderfully relaxing, and admittedly, at times frustrating, art of bread making, Valerie O Connor released a great book earlier this year with a wealth of bread recipes, you can pick up a copy here.
I have some bread recipes here on Simply Homemade, just type bread into the search box to the right of the page and they’ll all appear for your perusal.
Ireland has a wealth of wonderful bread producers, who are supplying our farm shops and supermarkets with wonderfully fresh bread on a daily basis. Being from Wexford, I couldn’t write this post and not mention the amazing Bread Winner Bakery who lead us into temptation with the best Sourdough Bread I have ever tasted and a wonderfully light Honey & Spelt bread.
Most supermarkets now have a fresh bakery, Lidl in particular have a super, affordable, well stocked bakery with a wonderful array of freshly baked goods, including their award winning Low GI Multiseed Cob.
Of course, you will also find some good quality bread odorning the shelves of the supermarket aisles aswell, I would encourage you to read labels, be aware of ingredients and buy Irish!
To find out more about National Bread Week, visit the website here, look out for the Love your Loaf logo and most of all enjoy and celebrate good Irish Bread!!
I was not asked to write this blog post, nor was I obliged to mention any businesses named in this blog post. This is simply a subject of great interest to me. All opinions are my own.