Neven Maguire’s Brown Bread Recipe

 

Everyone claims to have a great family recipe for wheaten bread. I’ve experimented with a lot of recipes over the years and this is deinitely the best I’ve tasted to date. It has a lovely sweet flavour but is still very much a savoury bread

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1lb 2oz) coarse wholemeal flour
  • 125 g (4 1/2oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp bread soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 600 ml (1 pint) buttermilk, plus a little extra if necessary
  • 1 tblsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tblsp melted butter, plus extra butter for greasing and serving
  • 1 tblsp golden syrup
  • 1 tblsp porridge oats

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6) and grease 2 x 900ml (1 1/2 pint) loaf tins.
  • Sift the flours, bread soda and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk, brown sugar, melted butter and golden syrup. Using a large spoon, mix gently and quickly until you have achieved a nice dropping consistency. Add a little bit more buttermilk if necessary, until the mixture binds together without being sloppy.
  • Divide the mixture equally between the prepared loaf tins and sprinkle over the porridge oats. Bake for 1 hour, until cooked through and each one has a slightly cracked crusty top, checking halfway through that the loaves aren’t browning too much. If they are, reduce the temperature or move the loaves down in the oven.
  • To check that the loaves are properly cooked, tip each one out of the tin and tap the base. It should sound hollow. If it doesn’t, return it to the oven for another 5 minutes. Tip out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  • To serve, place the brown wheaten bread on a breadboard and cut into slices at the table. Hand around with a separate pot of butter for spreading.

Notes

Neven says: Cook it ahead! The beauty of this bread is that it takes so little time to prepare, but you could have everything weighed out and ready to go beforehand, though it’s hardly necessary. However, it can be frozen very successfully.

This recipe and many more are available in Neven Maguire’s The MacNean Restaurant Cookbook, published by Gill & MacMillan Books and available to buy here.

Neven Maguire’s Brown Bread Recipe

 

Everyone claims to have a great family recipe for wheaten bread. I’ve experimented with a lot of recipes over the years and this is deinitely the best I’ve tasted to date. It has a lovely sweet flavour but is still very much a savoury bread

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1lb 2oz) coarse wholemeal flour
  • 125 g (4 1/2oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp bread soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 600 ml (1 pint) buttermilk, plus a little extra if necessary
  • 1 tblsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tblsp melted butter, plus extra butter for greasing and serving
  • 1 tblsp golden syrup
  • 1 tblsp porridge oats

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6) and grease 2 x 900ml (1 1/2 pint) loaf tins.
  • Sift the flours, bread soda and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk, brown sugar, melted butter and golden syrup. Using a large spoon, mix gently and quickly until you have achieved a nice dropping consistency. Add a little bit more buttermilk if necessary, until the mixture binds together without being sloppy.
  • Divide the mixture equally between the prepared loaf tins and sprinkle over the porridge oats. Bake for 1 hour, until cooked through and each one has a slightly cracked crusty top, checking halfway through that the loaves aren’t browning too much. If they are, reduce the temperature or move the loaves down in the oven.
  • To check that the loaves are properly cooked, tip each one out of the tin and tap the base. It should sound hollow. If it doesn’t, return it to the oven for another 5 minutes. Tip out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  • To serve, place the brown wheaten bread on a breadboard and cut into slices at the table. Hand around with a separate pot of butter for spreading.

Notes

Neven says: Cook it ahead! The beauty of this bread is that it takes so little time to prepare, but you could have everything weighed out and ready to go beforehand, though it’s hardly necessary. However, it can be frozen very successfully.

This recipe and many more are available in Neven Maguire’s The MacNean Restaurant Cookbook, published by Gill & MacMillan Books and available to buy here.

Neven Maguire’s penne with pumpkin, crispy bacon, sage and Parmesan

I love this time of year. Conor and Lucia have made their pumpkin lanterns and I never let anything go to waste. I make soup with the flesh that they have scraped out – which is also good with pasta. Sage is a herb that tastes particularly well with pumpkin.

This is a recipe that you could use any time of the year with butternut squash or with sweet potatoes instead of the pumpkin.

I mentioned recently how many butchers are making their own sausages and here is another chance to try some out. With colcannon, this makes a very tasty meal.

Colcannon is also delicious with any grilled meat or with Sunday lunch. I often use this onion gravy with roast meats or pork chops. Allowing it to carmelise adds great depth of flavour.

Happy cooking,

Neven

Penne with pumpkin, crispy bacon, sage and Parmesan

Serves four to six

4 tbsp olive oil

175g (175g) smoked streaky bacon lardons

500g (1¼lb) pumpkin, peeled, seeded and finely diced

15g (½oz) packet fresh sage, finely shredded

500g (1¼lb) penne pasta

50g (2oz) freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to garnish

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 Heat the oil a large frying pan and fry the bacon for two to three minutes until crisp. Add the pumpkin with the sage. Season with salt and pepper and cook for four to five minutes, stirring occasionally until the pumpkin is cooked through.
  • 2 Cook the penne according to the packet instructions, then drain and add to the pumpkin with the crispy bacon. Stir in the Parmesan and season to taste, then divide among bowls.
  • 3 Garnish with extra Parmesan and black pepper.

Sausages with colcannon

Serves eight to 10

1.5kg (3lb) floury potatoes (such as Rooster), peeled and cut into chunks

8 traditional jumbo Irish pork sausages

225g (8oz) kale, finely shredded

2 scallions, very finely chopped

120ml (4fl oz) milk

75g (3oz) butter

Salt and pepper

Stout onion gravy, to serve (optional, see point 3)

  • 1 Steam the potatoes until tender. Cook the sausages in a frying pan in a little oil or under the grill. Place a knob of the butter and a tablespoon of water in a pan over a high heat. Add the kale and scallions with a pinch of salt. Cover, shake vigorously and cook for 1½ minutes. Shake again and cook for another 1½ minutes, until the cabbage or kale is tender but still crisp.
  • 2 Heat the milk in a small pan or in the microwave. Mash the potatoes and then beat in the butter with enough of the milk to make a smooth, creamy mash. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with the sausages and some gravy, if liked.
  • 3 Stout onion gravy: sauté thinly sliced onions in butter and season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with a little sugar to caramelise. Stir in a spoonful of flour and then pour in enough Guinness or beef stock from a cube to make a thick smooth gravy.