I've decided, people are genuinely lovely. It might be a bit of a sweeping statement, but in general, people are thoughtful, good natured and pretty decent. Like the guy who pushed my car the other night when it stalled on me in the middle of the road, or the 3 old men who helped me in the Tesco car park when I couldn't get my car started (re-occurence of car problems was not my fault despite what my husband thinks!), or the woman who gave me €1 to put into the parking metre in town when I was short and was rushing to make a doctors appointment (she offered, I accepted).
I've been thinking about this quite a lot over the last few weeks and I have a theory. Most of us rush around in the evenings or at the weekend doing chores, buying groceries etc. It's not that we're selfish or thoughless, it's just that we don't have time to be selfless or thoughtful. Now that I'm on maternity leave from work, my weekend chores have become weekday chores and the people I'm coming across are probably retired, unemployed, students or stay at home Mums. Regardless of who they are, they seem to be less rushed, less stressed and have more time to look out for others. Their generousity has restored my faith in human nature.
What does that have to do with Guinness Brown Bread. Absolutely nothing except that I came home from town with a spring in my step the other day and decided to bake something.
I noticed a recipe for Guinness Brown Bread the other day that caught my attention. The raising agent is baking soda so there's no need to knead (ha, ha!) and it's a quick bread to get into the oven. It tastes rich with no actual taste of the Guinness coming through when baked. It's real wintry bread and the only way I can describe it is that it's the bread equivalent of gingerbread, without the spices and with much less sugar. I tried it first with some plum jam but I think it works better with chutney and cheese or with a bowl of soup.
Guinness Brown Bread adapted from odlums website
450g Coarse Wholemeal Flour
2 level tsp baking soda
25g Pinhead Oatmeal (if you don't have this, you could use the same quantity of porridge oats and a tbsp of sunflower seeds to add a little bit of crunch)
4 tbsp soft brown sugar
50g butter / margarine
1 tbsp treacle
1 tbsp each of seasame seeds and linseeds (or whatever seeds you have)
Preheat the oven to 190C. Grease a 900g / 2 lb loaf tin.
Put the butter and treacle into a saucepan over a low heat and allow the butter to melt. Meanwhile put the flour, pinhead oatmeal, baking soda and sugar into a bowl.
When the butter has melted take off the heat, add the Guinness and stir.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and bake for 50 mins or until the bread has a hollow sound when tapped underneath (the bread in the picture was in the oven for 60 mins).
Wrap in a clean tea towel and allow to cool.