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Irish Wheaten Bread (aka: Gluten Morgen Baby)

This recipe came to me from my friend Cary. I think she got it from someone who got it from Delia Smith. I imagine that it’s changed a little, but still- credit to Saint Delia.


6oz (175g) wholemeal flour

2oz (50g) plain flour

2oz (50g) pinhead oatmeal* (called Steelcut oats)

1oz (25g) wheatgerm*

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 

Half teaspoon salt

1 large egg

10 fl.oz (275ml) buttermilk (buttermilk is either a/ milk that has gone off or b/ milk 

that’s had an acid added to it; I use lemon or lime juice. Some people make buttermilk by adding a splash of vinegar, but I think that’s theologically unjustifiable).

(I should say that this is for one small loaf. I normally multiply everything by three and make two big loaves)

Every baking bread session should begin with a reading of “All Bread” by Margaret Atwood. It’s the rule. 

Mix the Wholemeal and Plain flour together with the bicarbonate of soda – and sieve them. It helps the bread rise while it’s cooking. 

Then add in the pinhead oatmeal, wheatgerm, salt and buttermilk. Mix it up.

I throw in some nice sunflowerseeds and pumpkin seeds too. Whatever feels good. Apart from fish-sauce. Don’t put fish sauce in here, even if it feels good.

At this stage, you can put in the egg. Or, if you’re feeling very adventurous, you can separate the yolk from the white, and add in the yolk. Whisk the egg white and then fold that in. If you do that, you need to do some dancing to prove what a badass you are. 

Grease the tin/s. 

If you want, you can put put poppy and sesame seeds on the bottom/side of the tin/s as this will make the crust be seed-infused-crust and there’s no home-made-organic-authentically-handcrafted-bread like seed-infused-crust-home-made-organic-authentically-handcrafted bread. If you do this, you’ll need to read Jericho Brown Psalm 150 aloud, with joy, for the sheer brilliance of its language, as well as all its other glories. 

The whole mix should look like a thick porridge. 

Pour it into the greased tins. 

Often I put fresh oats on the top too. 

And, please don’t forget to say a blessing for the bread. Without it the bread won’t do 

its work. Choose a blessing of your choice, or make it up. That’s where they all come from anyway.

Normally I put tinfoil over the greased tins, so that the oats don’t burn, but also to 

make sure the tins generate a lot of heat. That might be because I’ve got a temperamental oven though. 

Put it all into the oven, and read Margaret Atwood’s poem again. It’ll convince the 

bread that its purpose is to feed the body and soul. 

1lb tin well greased.

Preheated oven at gas mark 5, 190*C

50-60 mins in a normal oven

(45 mins in a fan assisted oven)

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