Food Therapy and a Tipple of Sloe Gin

Home is where the kitchen smells like freshly baked loaves, there’s always food on the table and you’re greeted with a tipple of sloe gin and a seat by the fire after a hard day… Well, not exactly, the real world doesn’t always work that way; but an evening at Bronagh’s Bake House, makes you feel like you’ve just stepped into the home that Enid Blyton made

Our NI Travel News editorial team were invited along to the Bake House Cookery school for an afternoon of food – our favourite thing, and there isn’t a better place to feel at home than in Bronagh’s kitchen.

The walls are strewn with wonderfully colourful tiles surrounding the blue wooden cabinets and rustic Smeg range cooker. It reminded me of the style in a classically rustic gypsy wagon, with a warm sense of country cottage. It’s perfect.

The concept of a cookery school is not unique, but Bake House is, and that’s down to the personality behind the business. There’s a lot of love in that kitchen and this is a cookery school that cares more about the people who find their way through the doors than intricate chaffy technique. This is a place where everyone is welcome, everyone can learn and where everyone can experience a little of the comfort of cooking and eating together. It’s a Mamma’s kitchen where everyone belongs.

Bronagh is a home grown, rustic foodie, with an awesome talent for cooking and baking, but she has a real heart for people and lights up the hubub of her kitchen, perhaps that’s her nursing background that shines through when she’s bringing people together around her table. The hands on cookery experience is delightful and fun – we made a cheesy loaf. There’s something about kneading dough that’s so relaxing – we dubbed the class ‘food therapy’. Bronagh is passionate about using real ingredients and champions other local artisans and even grows some of her own herbs and vegetables. Her classes range from baking, cake decorating, Italian nights, vegan cookery, Indian cookery class and family classes that bring everyone together.

As our little bread buns settled in the oven, we sipped our sloe gin by the brick fire place and giggled together as the aroma of bread started to fill the air; we felt that we could have stayed all evening. When the bread was cooked, we sat around the table with a selection of chutneys from fellow local artisan, The Lush Larder and Dart Mountain Cheese, as we broke open our steaming cheesy bread that gave us a cuddle from the inside out.

A bread you will fall in love with: The Bakehouse Cheese and Scallion Bread

Ingredients

  • 425g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 2 handfuls chopped scallions
  • 200g mature cheddar cheese
  • 250ml water

Method

  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix.
  2. Add the chopped scallions and grate in 150g of the cheese reserving the rest.
  3. Pour in the water and mix using a palette knife.
  4. Form the dough into a round loaf shape or place into a loaf tin.
  5. Make 3 cuts on top of the loaf and sprinkle the reserved cheese on top.
  6. Bake in the oven at 200oC for 45mins.

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