Breaking bread with Get Togethers Communities
Bread is such a wonderful way to bring people together. Whether it’s injera, roti, bao, challah bread or a white farmhouse loaf, bread is a staple that is enjoyed by cultures all over the world. Every type of bread has its own history, but for the most part its something filling, delicious and satisfying that can be made with just a few ingredients and a little bit of skill, plus heat.
Here are some examples of communities coming together with bread.
Grains for grandparents
Dromintee Primary School in Newry used bread as a way to connect through care packages during the first wave of Covid-19. Children baked bread with their families which they then gifted to shielding older people, or cocooners, along with butter, jam and a handwritten note. The cocooners then wrote back to the children using a stamped addressed envelope sharing bread memories from their own childhoods.
Wheaten bread, an Irish brown bread, was one of the staple foods that Mayobridge Community Organisation baked together over Zoom. “We will strive to show people how wholesome food can be made on a shoestring,” said Gillian Fitzpatrick. The online sessions were a chance for older people to come together and have a chat over a cup of tea whilst sharing in the experience of baking.
Ruth’s Irish Soda Bread
Irish soda bread is a quick bread that doesn’t need yeast and instead relies on baking soda and buttermilk as raising agents. It’s also a quick and tasty bread. Ruth bakes her soda bread on a griddle over an open fire from Hanna’s Cottages in the foothills of the Mourne mountains. The bread is shared with visitors, schools and communities, offering an authentic taste of Northern Ireland. Here’s Ruth’s recipe:
Two good handfuls of Neill’s Soda Bread Flour or two good handfuls of Neill’s Plain flour. Wee drop of cream of tartar. Wee drop of baking powder and pinch of baking soda and pinch of salt.
Combine and add buttermilk gradually until a soft dough is reached.
Flour a baking sheet and roll out in a circle and cut into four farls. (Farls are what you get when you cut the bread into four parts.)
Place on a floured griddle on medium heat. When first side is risen and browned slightly turn and cook second side.
Turn farls onto their edge to harn. (Harn means to brown)
Serve of the griddle with butter and jam.
If not using immediately wrap in clean tea towel.
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