We have to agree with chef and author Rachel Allen who said that life would be “very, very dull without bread.” And as this is National Bread Week, it is the perfect time to celebrate all that is so good about bread, and particularly Irish bread.
Everyone is invited to take part and enjoy what bread has to offer as part of a balanced diet. Events will be taking place in bakeries and stores across Ireland this week with many of them offering tastings and promotions. You can find your nearest participating business on the National Bread Week website.
Bread comes in for some criticism, but clinical nutritionist and dietician Dr Mary McCreery said she hoped the focus on bread would help dispel some myths. She explained that bread is often cited as a cause of bloating and said that it isn’t the case, pointing to research conducted by the British Nutrition Foundation. This said that there is no scientific evidence that regular consumption of bread causes bloating or digestive problems.
She added that bread provides protein, folic acid and many nutrients such as dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. The Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA) found that bread provides as much as 10% of Irish peoples’ daily intake of protein and folic acid. And, perhaps surprisingly, bread is the second main contributor to both the iron and calcium intake of the Irish diet.There are many reasons to love bread and ensure that it remains part of our diet, according to McCreery who has put together a document with “the real story” about bread.
It is the perfect week to learn how to make the perfect loaf. We’ve picked out one recipe that we like the sound of, but you can find a range of bread recipes on the website. And, when you’ve created your culinary masterpiece, you can upload an image of your bread, so that a gallery can be made that celebrates Irish bread.
So, enjoy your bread this week, appreciate it, and become a part of the events that are taking place around the country or bring the festivities home.Guinness Brown Bread By Odlums
450g/1lb Odlums Coarse Wholemeal
2 level teaspoons Bread Soda
25g/1oz Odlums Pinhead Oatmeal
4 tablespoons Shamrock Demerara Sugar
100g packet Shamrock Chopped Walnuts (optional)
1 tablespoon Treacle
Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin.
Put margarine and treacle into a saucepan over a low heat and allow the margarine to melt.
Meanwhile, put the Wholemeal, pinhead, sugar and chopped walnuts into a bowl. Sieve in the bread soda and mix well.
When the margarine has melted, add the Guinness and stir.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well. Transfer mixture to prepared tin and bake for about 40 to 50 minutes until risen and when tapped underneath has a hollow sound..
Wrap in a clean tea towel and allow to cool.
In Short: It’s National Bread Week, so find out how you can take part in the celebration, the real story about bread, and learn some new recipes.