Bread Making




Bread Making

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The bread people made a century ago was very different to today. Potato-cake and boxty bread were two kinds used for every-day meals but griddle-bread was also made. Some people make griddle-bread still as it is very light and is more agreeable for people suffering from stomach trouble. It was made of flour, salt and soda mixed with buttermilk and put on a griddle by the fireside to bake. The griddle was a flat round piece of iron laid on a tripod or brand-iron under which burning coals were placed.

Potato-cake was also laid on the griddle by the fire and turned from one side to the other. First potatoes were boiled, peeled and mashed. A little salt was added and it was well kneaded. Then it was flattened, cut into strips and put on a hot griddle. When cooked the strips were split in the centre with a piece of thread and each side well-buttered.
Boxty-bread or “buck-bread” was made with raw potatoes. Washed and peeled, they were grated onto a linen cloth. The soft juicy pulp of the potatoes was squeezed tightly in the cloth to get rid of the starchy liquid. It was then mixed with flour, salt and soda and buttermilk was added. It was flattened and laid on the hot griddle. When it was set and brown underneath it was turned and when the other side was likewise it was taken up and buttered hot.

Bread was also made of oaten-meal just as the wheaten-meal or wholemeal but it had a very hard crust and when baked was almost a black colour.

In those days nearly everyone grew a special portion of wheat for making flour which was ground using a quern. This quern consisted of two flat round stones with a large hole in the centre through which ran an iron axis and beside this were two other holes through which ran wooden handles. These were commonly worked by women who each evening ground enough corn for the next day.

Nancy Kennedy
Co. Tipperary



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