Posts Tagged With: bread

Irish Soda Bread

So…. Soda bread.


Likely a post that would have been more suitable to have been posted a month ago, but oh well. You get it now.

On the bright side though, I managed to check another item of my 25 while I’m 25 list! Woo hoo! And you get fresh baked bread in under an hour.

This was a huge success for me, not only because I got to knock an item that has been on my To-Do list for a looong time, but because I was able to share and teach my sister how to make it before sharing it here.

Now this may not seem like a huge accomplishment, but anyone who knows me, or at the very least, anyone who has ever tried to cook with me, knows that I do not share the kitchen well. I don’t share counter space and tend to get snippy when people get in my way. Even so,  I managed to drag my non-baking sister into the kitchen and successfully taught her how to make her very first loaf of home made bread. This is also an amazing feat. I am really not a good teacher

While my Mom does have pictures of us, seemingly co-operating in the kitchen, historically this is not the case. I can think of more than one occasion where me trying to teach her how to bake ended up in a screaming match. Hahaha

Soda bread - GB

Thankfully, this time it resulted in some warm crusty bread, perfect for dunking into soup or stew. Or even just slathered with butter and honey. A much better result if you ask me.

Some notes on the recipe:

  • I’ve listed both volume and weight measurements, but I got a better result using weight measurements for the flour. 
  • I have adjusted the recipe to make a small loaf that comfortably serves four. It tends to dry out quickly, so I didn’t want a whole lot of leftovers kicking around and going to waste.

Irish Soda Bread - GB
Irish Soda Bread

adapted from

  • 12 oz ( about 2 cups) flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7 oz ( a scant 1 cup) buttermilk or soured milk*
  • additional flour for dusting.
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a round 8 in casserole or cake pan.
  2. Sift the flour in to a large bowl, then whisk in the baking soda, brown sugar and salt.  Make a large well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
  3. Pour the buttermilk into the well and gradually stir in the flour, until it is all combined and you have a slightly sticky dough. If your dough is really sticky, then add a bit more flour, a couple tablespoons at a time.
  4. Knead the dough lightly, about once or twice, so that you don’t squish out all of the gases, then form the dough into a ball.  Place in the greased casserole.  Dust the top of the dough with some flour, then with a sharp knife make a couple of slashes in the top o the bread.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until you have a deep golden crust, and the bottom sounds hollow when you give it a tap.
  6. Let it cool on a wire rack, then cut into wedges ( while still warm) to serve.

Seriously, what is better than homemade bread.



I linked this recipe to:

Categories: Breads | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Guest Post from The Cook’s Sister: Banana Bread

Guys! I have a special treat for you today! The lovely Amber from The Cook’s Sister is guest posting today and she’s brought you an amazing treat: Banana Bread!

Baked and Photographedd by The Cook's Sister(

Baked and Photographedd by The Cook’s Sister

She makes amazing and approachable recipes all on a students budget. I am in awe of her ambition to be able to be pursusing her Ph.D and also be able to manage her blog and cook up delicious meals. I’m pretty sure I lived on instant ramen noodles and waffle fries while I was in college! 

Here are a few that most definitely had me salivating!

Don’t forget to head on over and check out some more of her amazing recipes!


Baked and photographed by The Cook's Sister (

Baked and photographed by The Cook’s Sister

Hello! I’m Amber from The Cook’s Sister and I’m very excited to be guest blogging today! The Cook’s Sister  is a food blog centered around cooking on a student’s modest food budget. Most of my recipes are day-to-day things that one can cook in a hurry. However, I also, on occasion, feature recipes for special occasions. Each recipe on my blog comes with an estimated cost break-down by ingredient and the total expected affordability of the dish.

Mel and I are both participants in the monthly Improv Challenge hosted by Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker, which is how we met. We both visit each other’s blogs regularly now. And we both own some very cute kitties (I have one, Loki) that like to check out the tasty treats that we share on our blogs.

Baked and photographed by The Cook's Sister(

Baked and photographed by The Cook’s Sister

Recently, I had the pleasure of having Mel guest post on my blog, where she shared her delicious Chocolate Drizzled Mocha Cookies (Bryan has been asking me to make these cookies ever since)! I’m very excited that Mel invited me to post on her blog as well! I’m always amazed by Mel’s gorgeous creations! I’m amazed by the things she can bake and her ability to make it beautiful.

While I enjoy baked goods as much as anyone else, it’s generally not my strong point. Yet, to go along with Mel’s blog theme and my own, I wanted to share with you a tasty baked treat that is also affordable. So, I set out to make banana bread.

My first attempt at this banana bread didn’t work out so well. It might have had something to do with the fact that my baking powder was three years old (I bought it when I moved to my current apartment). Or maybe I didn’t bake it long enough. Or maybe I overworked the batter. Whatever it was, the bread was terrible on first try. So, I replaced my baking supplies and tried again. Today, I’m sharing my banana bread recipe (take two)!

Banana Bread


Baked and photographed by The Cook’s Sister


Wet ingredients

  • 3 eggs  – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 cup cane sugar  – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 cup brown sugar  – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 cup lard, melted  – approximate cost $0.75
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla  – approximate cost $0.45
  • 2 ½ cups very ripe bananas (about 4-5), mashed  – approximate cost $0.60

Dry ingredients

  • 3 cups flour  – approximate cost $1.50
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder  – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda  – approximate cost $0.15
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg  – approximate cost $0.20
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt  – approximate cost $0.10
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon  – approximate cost $0.30
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves  – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)  – approximate cost $0.50


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients (eggs, cane sugar, brown sugar, lard, vanilla, and bananas) in a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix until well combined and set aside.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, sea salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, and walnuts) in a separate large mixing bowl.
  5. Mix until well combined.
  6. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing constantly with a spatula until well combined.
  7. Pour the bread mixture into two loaf pans.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean).
  9. Allow to cool until you can safely handle the loaf pans.
  10. Turn the pans upside-down to remove the bread.
  11. Set on a wire rack and allow bread to cool completely.
  12. Serve warmed or cold and enjoy!

Makes 2 loaves, about 16 slices (approximate cost: $3.25 per loaf or $0.41 per slice).


(P.S. – I absolutely love that her banana bread recipe uses lard! -Mel)

Categories: Breads | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Oatmeal Raisin Bread

I really don’t like raisins.

I remember when we were younger, Mom would send us with the little red boxes of raisins in our lunches. Occasionally, we would eat them, but most often they would end up hidden in the bottom of our backpacks. At any given time, there might be four or five uneaten boxes of raisins.

Because we never actually told her that we didn’t like them, she just kept buying them. That is until one day, she needed to check out school bags (probably for report cards or something) and discovered the hidden stash of raisins. Needless to say we rarely saw raisins in our lunch bags again.

So when the ingredients for this month’s Improv Challenge hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker were Oatmeal and Raisins, I seriously considered not participating. I could not for the life of me think of something to make that I would actually enjoy and want to share. Until I thought of raisin bread.

Warm, toasty, and slathered in melted butter, it was always a breakfast treat that I looked forward to.

The oats in the bread add wonderful texture and the raisins add just the right amount of sweetness. Liberally laced with cinnamon, this will make you house smell amazing while it’s baking.

Oatmeal Raisin Bread

makes one loaf

  • 1 cup rolled oats ( not instant)
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp dry active yeast
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2-3 cups flour
  1. In a large bowl, pour boiling water over the oats. Add the maple syrup and stir. Let cool to lukewarm ( about 110° F) Add yeast, and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the oil, eggs, salt, cinnamon and raisins. Stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add the flour until you get a soft and elastic dough. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl,and set in a draft free place. Let rise until doubled in size, about and hour.
  3. Punch down the dough, and turn onto a floured board or counter. Knead in the remaining flour, until you get a smooth dough Shape into a loaf and set into a loaf pan. Let rise for about half an hour, or until it has doubled in size again.
  4. Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F for 35-45 minutes ( the bottom should be golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped)
  5. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
  6. Slice, toast, and slather in butter.

Don’t forget to check out the other great oatmeal and raisin recipes!

– Mel


I also shared this recipe at Strut Your Stuff Saturday and:

Categories: Breads | Tags: , , , , | 23 Comments

Cheddar Ranch Bubble Bread

Happy New Year!

Hoping that you are all recovering well from last nights festivities!

One of my goals for last year was to learn how to use yeast ( I choose goals since I very rarely keep any resolution I make). I have always held a sort of fear when it comes to yeast. I have many memories of making bread in the bread machine only to end up with heavy doorstop worthy bread, or loves that would rise so high that they would press up against the lid and not cook properly.  Not to mention all of the horror stories I’ve read about bread that won’t rise. I can’t say that I am no longer fearless when comes to yeast, however, after testing the water a bit, I am more comfortable using it now.

This was one of the successes of my bread making. I have made it three times in the past week. It’s that good.  I came across this idea on How Sweet Eats who came across the idea from Foodie with Family.

Cheddar Ranch Bubble Bread

comfortably serves 4-6

* Note: I made my own bread for this, however this recipe would work just as well with fresh or frozen ( and thawed!) dough.

  •  1 1/2 c warm water ( about 40°C/ 100°F)
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 1/2- 4 c flour
  • 1 pkg ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped.
  1. Dissolve the yeast and the sugar in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 c flour and the salt, making a well in the middle. Add the yeast and stir with a wooden spoon, adding flour if necessary.
  3. Once you have a soft dough, turn it out and, knead it, slowly working in the remaining flour until you have a soft dough.
  4. Set it in a bowl to rise in a warm dry place, until it has doubled in size, about an hour.
  5. Punch it down knead it a few times, then let it rise it again, about 1/2 an hour.
  6. In a 10 in pan, generously brush the bottom and side with butter. ( I used an 8 in pan and ended up having to split it up)
  7. In another bowl, combine the rest of the  butter, the ranch dressing mix, onions, and 2/3 of the cheese.  Divide the dough in about 30 pieces, then coat in the butter mixture and arrange in the prepared pan. I found it easiest to coat each dough ball one by one. They didn’t gob together so much. Pour the remaining butter over the top and top with the remaining cheese.
  8. Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F for about 30 mins.
  9. Let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy warm.

adapted from How Sweet Eats who got it from Foodie With Family

It may not be the healthiest way to start the new year, but hey, your resolution can wait one more day can’t it?

– Mel

Categories: Appetizers, Breads | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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