DOS HERMANOS: HAVING US TEA
Our late Mum was a great baker and the smell of a loaf of bread, a big pie (mmm…pie) in the oven or of Welsh Teacakes cooking on the griddle remains with us to this day.
It’s a long time since I made any bread – a bit of pizza dough about a decade ago probably doesn’t count – but I had some of Sally Barnes wonderful Smoked Salmon which I needed to eat so some homemade Soda Bread to accompany it seemed like a good idea.
I really love the Soda Bread at Richard Corrigan’s joints: Bentley’s and Corrigan’s. It’s deep, it’s dark, it’s moreish. A quick Google found the recipe which consists of equal quantities of plain and wholemeal flour, bicarb, honey, black treacle, salt, buttermilk and oat flakes (for an interesting texture). Even for a klutz like me it’s easy peasy: mix it all together and bung it in a hot oven.
Forty-five minutes later and with a beautiful smell wafting around the DH crib the loaf was ready. It went onto a rack to cool but of course I couldn’t resist breaking a hunk off straight away and slathering it in unsalted butter. For a first attempt it was rather good (and I’m my own worst critic). The base was a bit too crisp but made for a good texture contrast. It didn’t come out as dark as the restaurant version which leads me to think they might use a secret recipe there.
With the bread I carved some thickish slices of the Smoked Salmon. This fish comes from the Woodcock Smokery in Cork. Founded and owned by Sally Barnes this is a truly artisanal product which unfortunately has limited availability – they only use wild fish – and is expensive. Although, given the superlatve quality it’s well worth it.
The flavour is fantastic with just the right amount of smoke and a lovely un-fatty texture and a taste that just goes on and on. All that was needed to complete us tea was some Cream Cheese and a bottle of Meantime’s London Stout.
And don’t worry HS, there’s plenty left over for you.