Bringing Bread Back

Bread gets a bit of a raw deal these days, which is a shame, as it’s been a staple in Irish homes for centuries now.

While I completely agree that white flour can play havoc with a person’s digestive system, I myself would feel extremely bloated after it, it’s worth noting that there are other options; spelt flour for instance is much easier to digest and therefore kinder to one’s tummy.

We’re not just limited to white or brown breads anymore, and the lovely book, Bread on the Table by Valerie O’Connor is testament to that.

As someone who makes bread on a weekly basis, I was thrilled to see this book hit the shelves. I’ve said here before, since I started making my own bread some years back, I’ve really come to loathe using the mass produced stuff, in fact the only time we ever use it is if were desperately stuck, which isn’t very often thankfully.

Bread on The Table has a myriad of wonderful bread recipes, I read through it and decided, I will have to make my way through the entire book, the only recipe I’m unlikely to try is for Donuts, this is not a fault of the book , there is simply nothing appealing about a donut of any variety to me!

The photographs are inviting and Valerie shows how simple it is to produce a mouth-watering loaf that is far superior to any packaged pan you will pick up from a supermarket shelf.

I want to share two recipes with you that I am certain will become regulars on our bread list.

Easy Oat Bread

Ingredients   003

175g/6oz Oatmeal

175g/6oz Pinhead Oatmeal

120g/4oz Oat Bran

1 ½ tsp Bread Soda

1 tsp Salt

600ml/1 pint Buttermilk

25g/1 oz Butter, melted


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/GM4
  • Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  • Leave the mix to soak for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven.
  • Grease or line your loaf tin and tip the mixture in, if you like, sprinkle a few more oats for a nice finish.
  • Bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours.
  • Leave the bread to cool fully before cutting.


This is a delicious, nutty bread, perfect with cheese in lunch boxes; or with home cooked ham, good Wexford cheddar and a spicy chutney for a homemade ploughman’s lunch!

The second loaf I want to share with you is this lovely

Totally Tropical Banana Bread


200g/8oz Ground Almonds 006

80g/3oz Desiccated Coconut

½ tsp Bread Soda

2 large, very ripe Banana’s

60g/2oz Butter, melted, leave a little extra for brushing

1 tbsp runny Honey

2 Eggs

1 tbsp light Brown Sugar



  • Preheat oven to 170C/325F/GM3.
  • Grease or line a loaf tin.
  • Mix the almonds, coconut and bread soda in a large bowl.
  • In a second bowl, mash one of the banana’s, pour in the melted butter and the honey, crack in the eggs and combine everything with a fork.
  • Pour the eggy mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well until combined.
  • Put it into the tin and press it down.
  • Slice the second banana and lay it on top of the mixture, brush it with the melted butter.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar onto the top of the cake.
  • Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for half an hour before turning out onto wire rack.


My children loved this cake, it will make a perfect addition to their lunch boxes or will serve well with a glass of milk after a long day at school.

These are just two examples from Bread on The Table, I would encourage anybody who has any interest in baking their own bread to invest in this book.

Bread is something we eat everyday, learn a few recipes from Bread on The Table, and you too will  be eating good bread everyday!

Bread on The Table

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