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Home-made bread: is it worth it?

homemade-brown-breadIrish mammies are masters of multi-tasking, as we know. From speaking with a mouthful of pins on the phone on their shoulder  to turning off and on a faulty computer as they boil a chicken. It’s all go. The one thing they’re really good at is making brown bread when the oven is on. I’ve always admired this and thought I’d get my act together and give it a go.  The result is delicious and money-saving.

This  great recipe from Bord Bia is foolproof and healthy.  I nerdily did the costings and it works out at €1.34 a loaf. McCambridge”s brown soda loaf is €1.79 in my local major supermarket.  My family go through three a week so that would be  €209.04 per year, a saving of  €70.20 on buying it ready-made.

However, the cost of the oven is not included. This adds €62.40 (based on 42c per hour to heat oven). So you’d save just €7.80 if you turned on the oven especially. So throw it in with your dinner, like a clever mammy. And sure, don’t they freeze wonderfully.


  • 250g wholemeal flour  ( 33.6c)
  • 200g plain white flour (25.1c)
  • teaspoon salt  ( 0.3c)
  • teaspoon bicarbonate of soda  (3.6c)
  • 360mls buttermilk  (26.3c)
  • One egg  (31.5c)
  • teaspoon honey  (13.6c)


  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C (400°F).
  2. Mix the flour, bread soda and salt together in a bowl.  Combine the egg with the buttermilk and honey then mix into the flour.  Add a little more buttermilk if the mixture is dry – it should be a soft dough.  Then pour the lot into a lightly oiled loaf tin.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds/porridge oats over the top of the loaf if you like.
  3. Bake for 45-50 minutes.  To know when it is cooked simply tap the bottom of the loaf – it will sound hollow when it is fully cooked. Remove from the tin and wrap in a clean tea towel while cooling.  This will keep the crust soft.


  1. Home-made bread is definitely a winner. My wife makes a superb health loaf with all types of nuts and seeds and is truly better than anything you can buy in the shops.

  2. It all depends which kind of bread. I make kamut, spelt, and other grains breads and these would cost around 4 euros at the farmers markets
    Not noly that, but you have the guarantee that nothing goes in your loaf that you don’t want to eat. And you can add nuts, seeds, etc. Seeds cost very little in packets, but just a sprinkling would add a euro or 2 to the most basic loaf in a shop