Please Sir, Can I have some more.... Porridge

Just two things to say on Porridge:-

  • Helps lower your cholesterol
  • Excellent source of fiber

No better way to start your day.

Robin loves my bread

Snow everwhere and a little robin red breast is enjoyed my Irish Brown Bread

Given the recent, unusual for us, snow I left out some of Brown Bread for the birds... great to see a little robin tucking in.  Little does she know that it's good for her too!!!

The Fresh Loaf

Just came across a very good (bread) baking site - and signed up. Good forum, useful guides and active members. Looking forward to see what I can learn.

Softer Crust - Part II

How to achieve that elusive soft crust on home baked bread

Previously I wrote about tips and tricks to ensure that homemade bread (Irish brown bread in particular) doesn't suffer from an overly hard crust.  The adding of Oil and wrapping the bread in a tea-towel both help.

Recently I read that adding an egg would also help so I tried it last night.

Success !  This morning's bread is pretty much my best ever - here what I did:-

  • Followed my basic Brown Bread Recipe
  • Added two tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Added one egg
  • Lightly beat the egg and oil together before adding with the milk
  • When finished baking, wrapped the bread in tea towel and allowed to cool
The result is slightly crumbly but definitely a softer crust.  Hooray!

Let it snow, let it snow....

Forecast for a MASSIVE 4cm of Snow today so no doubt the entire country will grind to a halt. Time to make some brown bread then!

Must try some ideas I read yesterday on how to keep the crust soft - I already use the damp tea-towel trick and the Olive Oil trick, to that I'll add the lightly beaten egg (new) trick and see how it turns out. Stay tuned.

Lemon Cookies - Zingly!

Lemon & Ginger == Sublime Cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest, freshly grated and divided
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add ginger, egg, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon zest; beat until combined. Gradually add flour mixture; mix well. Cover dough and chill 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine remaining zest and caster sugar; set aside.

Drop dough by heaping teaspoons, 2 inches apart, onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Dip the bottom of a glass into the lemon sugar mixture and flatten dough; repeat for all cookies. Place remaining lemon sugar mixture in a sifter and sift additional sugar over each cookie. Bake 9 to 12 minutes until edges begin to brown. Allow cookies to cool on sheet 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove to a cooling rack; cool completely. Store at room temperature in an airtight container with wax paper between layers for up to 1 week.... as if they'll last that long!

 Thanks to

Julie & Julia / The Movie

A movie review in a food blog? Are you serious?

A foodie blog is no place for a movie review but this a movie regarding a foodie blogger so perhaps it's okay?  Julie & Julia.

I loved it.  Witty, engaging and informative - Meryl Streep steals the show.  If you enjoy preparing or eating food then you'll enjoy this movie.

I'd never heard of Julia Child and at first thought that thecharacter was forced and exaggerated but I looked her up on Youtube after watching the movie and can confirm that Meryl's impression was indeed good.  In fact, you should check out Julia Child on Youtube before watching the movbie and you'll enjoy it even more - I liked this one

Makes you feel like cooking something afterwards.... has to be

Boeuf Bourguignon

Another New Year and yet more resolutions....

Five Top Tips for the best New Year Resolutions

Seems like every New Year starts with a set of resolutions to improve one's outlook on life, health and the environment. The Irish Baker is no different but this year I'm hoping to be more realistic in what I can achieve. Five new rules:-

  • Drink less coffee - you don't have to have a coffee cup on your desk all day with coffee in it!
  • Eat more fruit - enough said.
  • Be more patient, count to 10 (or more) when stress starts.
  • Don't park in the nearest spot, or drive around looking for a spot close by - just park and walk the remainder. Saves Gas and is better for you.
  • Chew food slowly and completely, savour the tastes... should mean I eat a little less too!
Sounds easy on Jan 4th - let's see how we're doing in a few months time.......