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


  • 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


  • 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.


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.

Odlums Coffee and Walnut Cake

Beautifully presented Coffee and Walnut cake on a white cake stand
Beautifully presented Coffee and Walnut cake on a white cake stand

Anna Haugh – Chicken fricassee with pesto and sun-blushed tomatoes

By Anna Haugh From Saturday Kitchen


For the pesto

For the chicken fricassee

To serve

  • 300g/10½oz new potatoes
  • 30g/1oz butter or 2 tbsp olive oil
  • few sprigs fresh parsley


  1. To make the pesto, place the pine nuts, basil, cheese and garlic in a food processor or blender. Add the lemon zest and blend, adding the 2 types of oil gradually. Add a pinch of salt. Taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.
  2. For the chicken fricassee, fry the chicken pieces in the oil in a casserole. Add the sliced garlic and shallot and fry until softened. Deglaze with the white wine and then add the stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Stir in the butter once the chicken has cooked through.
  3. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the new potatoes for 15–25 minutes, or until cooked. Drain and set aside.
  4. Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan and fry the potatoes, squashing them into the pan with a spatula as you fry them for 6–8 minutes, until crisp and golden.
  5. Serve the chicken fricassee with the pesto and sun-blushed tomatoes on top and the potatoes on the side. Garnish with the parsley.

Ballymaloe Cookery School

ballymaloecookeryschool's profile picture
We love to see our past students collab.
Hannah and Sam both did the September 12 week cookery course with us in 2017.
Hannah now runs a great little cafe with a tipi outdoor-seating and Sam is the founder and cheese maker @fourbrotherscheese in Wiltshire 🇬🇧

Both of their with combined on the menu:
Mezze plate: za’atar hummus, sweet nocellara olives, Andalusian almonds, rosemary polenta chips, seasonal crudite. Add on bresaola from Dorset ‘Bryony’ feta-style cheese to make it extra special. The cheese is made using milk from their high-welfare Ayrshire cows.
#cookingisfun #ballymaloecookeryschool #12wkstudent #12weekcertificatecourse