Irish Soda Bread; The Hall: the before

I spent yesterday moving furniture into the hall.

I spent today unpacking my cook books.

Then I took photos.

I'll post them tomorrow. 

But, first, a wee trip down memory lane.

In order to appreciate where we are, it helps to see where we've been….

When we bought the house, the original hall had been divided in half, with the back room used as a bedroom.  At some point, the original front doors were closed off and the bathroom rooms put in the space. 

In this photo, the walls were gone but the door frame still in place…. with the light switch.

At the other end of the hall was a window (which had originally been a door).  We broke through the wall into the kitchen.

You can see what great shape the floor was in.


We heated the space with kerosene heaters, getting it barely warm enough to work.  It was also the work room – here tearing down the walls to redo the bathroom.


Once the bathroom was done, we moved in – and slept in the hall…. Still the only area we could keep warm. 


Shortly after moving in we had new windows and doors put in – putting the door back over the little balcony.


And photos of the newly completed hall tomorrow…

I'm finally back in the swing of things, so to speak, in the kitchen.  For more years than I can remember I have made this 2 or 3 times a week… Until this last year. 

The year without an oven. 

I didn't realize how much I missed that simple ritual. 

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Brown Bread (Soda Bread)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
2 heaping tbs oatmeal
2 heaping tbs bran flakes substitute more oatmeal
2 tbs butter
1 tsp sugar
1 heaping tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (6oz, 180ml) plain or Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cup (10oz, 300ml) milk measurements aren't precise, just equal 2 cups

Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). I use an 8.5" (22cm) round baking pan with 2" (5cm) sides for this. Butter the pan, then 'flour' it: put about 1 tbs flour in the pan and tilt the pan so that the flour covers all of the buttered area. Any excess just tip into the sink.
Put all dry ingredients into a deep bowl. Add the butter and cut in with a pastry cutter, fork or 2 knives until well blended.
Stir the yogurt and milk together, then stir the mixture into the flour/butter and mix well. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and tip out of pan on to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Slice and serve or allow to cool completely.

Note: I normally cut the loaf in half; we eat half and freeze half for later in the week. It keeps well for 3 days without freezing.


After I was done unpacking the cook book boxes, I went back to the barn, in search of one more box.

Mon mari asked why.

I said I was missing a cook book.

Mon mari said, with over 200 cook books how cam you possibly know you're missing one?

How could I not?

4 thoughts on “Irish Soda Bread; The Hall: the before”

  1. I promise I will never again complain about what I had to endure in my own remodeling! I can’t wait to see the finished house.

  2. Exactly. Though in my case it would apply to books in general, as my library of cookbooks is quite slim. When I moved from Italy I brought over 14 boxes of them and left some behind. I miss those and in fact I brought back with me two recently. I made Irish soda bread a long time ago: I should bake it again.

  3. Cindy, exactly. How could I not know!
    Kalyn, yours looks beautiful and it was a much more normal project then this monster. Having one’s living space a mess is horrid.
    Simona, I have another whole lot of book boxes of the ‘other’ books waiting their freedom. How could you bear to leave them behind? At least you can rescue them over time…

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