This is actually a traditional Irish soda bread, as taught to me by my Granny Kelly.
Today, though, I’ve got unions on the brain.
Unless a last minute settlement is reached by midnight tonight, many people I know will be starting their picket shifts tomorrow morning.
This was not an easy decision for anyone to make, I’m sure.
In a small town, a strike affects everyone. Small businesses will certainly feel the pinch if this drags out for long.
But I believe in the Power of a Union, and the right to bargain for a fair collective agreement, and for the rights of people who have negotiated in good faith to expect the same in return.
So to my friends and neighbors, and all those facing the uncertainty and stress that comes with striking – solidarity and hopes for a quick resolution.
This bread, in its many variations, saw people through similarly tough times.
Granny Kelly made it at night to have ready for morning breakfast. She taught me her recipe when I was fifteen.
The cross in the loaf, I’ve heard said, was cut to keep the devil from stealing the fresh bread.
This bread is hearty and dense and perfect with blackcurrant jam or alongside Creamy Potato Soup.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup wheat bran
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients except buttermilk in a medium bowl.
Aerate the flour by putting your hands in the flour and lifting them a few times.
Add buttermilk or sour milk and stir until a rough dough forms.
If dough is too wet, you can add a few tablespoons of oatmeal to make it less sticky.
Knead a few times and form into a ball.
Place dough on baking sheet and flatten to form a round loaf.
Cut a cross in the top of the loaf and place in oven.
Bake for 35-45 minutes until bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. It should come off the tray easily if it is done.
Wrap loaf in a clean dish towel and set on cooling rack to cool completely.