I was lucky enough to be brought up on wonderful home baking. My mother is a great cook and baker and we took for granted her lovley baking and cooking. Despite having six children and running a farm business my mother baked regularly.
She baked Fruit soda, wheaten bread, soda farls, a variety of scones, potato apple bread for Halloween, rich ruit cakes for Christmas and Simnel cake for Easter.
In autumn we had Apple tarts with first the Grenadiers and then the Bramley apples, rhubarb tarts when the rhubarb appeared in spring and gooseberry tart when the gooseberries ripened in May. All fruit from the garden.
She made rose hip syrup from the wild rose hips in the hedges, we collected wild mushrooms from the fields and made strawberry jam ( always before the Twelfth of July ! ) with local outdoor strawberries.
This is a picture of my mother in the family orchard in Co.Armagh ( Bramley apples ) circa 1975.
My mother’s mother, Granny Blaker baked soda farls practically every day in life when baking your own bread was a necessity.
From an early age I loved baking and luckily my mother taught me all of her recipes and I continue to make all of these today having added sourdough bread to my repetoire.
In my Traditional Irish Baking classes you can have a go at making your own breads and scones in a fun and relaxed environment while enjoying the beautiful view of the Co.Tyrone countryside.
We use the best local ingredients highlighting the wonderful produce we are lucky to have here in Northern Ireland.
The beauty of soda bread is that it is very quick and easy to make when you know how !
Just a few of our lovely reviews..
I’ve attended a number of classes at Wee Buns. Summer baking, Traditional Irish Baking, cake making and decorating and the latest on Saturday past was Easter Baking. Each class has been brilliant! I thoroughly enjoyed each one and recommend them to everyone! All recipes are very easy to do at home afterwards and Mary Anne is an excellent teacher! A brilliant hidden gem in the Moy!
Dad and I absolutely loved it !
What a great day my dad and I had at Wee Buns Cookery School.
Big John went along begrudgingly but ended up having a ball and out-baking the women.. so keen was he that he ended up baking his own wheaten bread the day after as per the recipe we took home. There’s no faking that smile , he’s delighted with himself
Mairead Holland Ulster Gazette
It’s a relaxed, laid back atmosphere with no pressure on non-bakers like myself and there’s a welcome break mid-morning for tea and scones with a bit of ‘craic’ thrown in.
Our whole group is amazed at how easy the recipes tare and we all trundle off home after the session with a warm paper bag of soda farls and a new-found knowledge and confidence to try something new .
Fruit Soda Bread
12 oz plain flour
3 oz raisins
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (too much turns bread yellow)
½ tsp cream of tartar (keeps the bread white – is optional)
Pinch of salt
Approximately ¼ – ¾ pint buttermilk
Preheat oven to 220C or 200C Fan
Lightly flour a baking tray.
Sieve the flour, baking soda and cream or tartar into a large bowl.
Add the raisins, salt and sugar and aerate well with hands.
Make a well in the centre and add half of the buttermilk at first, bring together with your hand and keep adding enough buttermilk to make a soft dough (almost wet).
Turn out onto a well floured surface.
Bring it together very lightly into a ball and place on a flour-dusted baking tray, make a cross with a sharp knife. And then a little dent in each corner to let the fairies out!
Bake for approximately 25mins . In a conventional oven at 220C for 10 minutes then reduce temp to 200C.
You can turn the loaf upside down for the last 5 minutes.
The top should be golden and the base should sound hollow when tapped.
Cool on a rack (wrapped in a clean tea towel if you prefer not to have a hard crust).
Cream of tartar is an acid and reacts with bicarbonate of soda to raise a mixture.
Bicarbonate of soda is an alkali and reacts with an acid (buttermilk or lemon juice) to raise a mixture.
Baking powder is a combination of cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda and some other base flour (rice or corn flour) which reacts with moisture (milk or eggs) to raise a mixture. When making a cake it is essential to put it immediately into a hot oven.