Bread Maker

I’ve been baking again.


It can’t be helped. I keep getting all these ideas, and I must put them to the test in my mother’s kitchen.


It’s another rainy day here in New Brunswick. I’m much too sore from my full-body lifting workout to exercise. This kind of weather calls for movie watching, laundry, and now apparently baking.


I gathered up my cast of characters.


The key ingredient here is baking soda.


While having our afternoon scones yesterday (which both Ellie and my Nana have informed me are pronounced “sk-onn” and not “sk-own”), my mother started talking about the soda bread of her childhood.


Apparently soda bread is an incredibly simple loaf to make, something our ancestors lived off of in the barren northern climates.


My mom says Nana used to make soda bread and serve it with cheddar cheese and molasses as an after-school snack. Don’t even get me started on how intrigued I am by the thought of a cheddar cheese and molasses sandwich.


Once again, the seed was planted. I got the idea of baking in my head and I couldn’t shake it. I scoured the internets for the best recipe I could find. I ended up going back to basics. The same simple bread our ancestors made, with the addition of a little whole wheat for good measure.

From The Food Network


  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with a little flour.

Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. Using one hand, stir in full circles (starting in the center of the bowl working toward the outside of the bowl) until all the flour is incorporated. The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, in a matter of seconds, turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Clean dough off your hand.

Pat and roll the dough gently with floury hands, just enough to tidy it up and give it a round shape. Flip over and flatten slightly to about 2 inches. Transfer the loaf to the prepared baking sheet. Mark with a deep cross using a serrated knife and prick each of the four quadrants.

Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400° and continue to bake until the loaf is brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped, 30 to 35 minutes more. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.


Renee wrote a post a while back about how baking makes her happy. It got me thinking about how I myself have fallen in love with baking.


Baking used to intimidate me. At least with cooking, you are always in control. A tweak here, a pinch of something there. It’s fun to throw ingredients together and see what you can create.


But with baking, all you can do is assemble the ingredients the best you can – and then you wait. Praying, wishing, hoping that the preparation you put into it will deem a delicious result.


There is something SO satisfying when you pull your creation out of the oven, smelling, looking and even better, tasting perfect. The happiness that comes from baking a perfect product goes a lot deeper!


And lets be honest with ourselves here. There are few things greater in life than putting a smear of butter on a slice of bread warm out of the oven.




I haven’t just been baking bread today!


Pancakes were had to celebrate Pancake Sunday. Dairy-Free (ish) Protein Pancakes to be exact. 


With the addition of sliced almonds, coconut and almond extract to make Almond Coconut Protein Pancakes.


So fluffy. So good.

I also polished off the Meatloaf Pizza for lunch.


Avec une salade.


Dressing was laughing cow cheese whisked with buttermilk. Nothing short of amazing.

But I don’t know how this got on my camera.


I don’t eat chocolate. Especially not Belgian dusted truffles. Disgusting. Who’s teeth-marks are those? :P

This afternoon, I made my own version of strawberry shortcake using Homemade Wholegrain Maple Oatmeal Scones.

IMG_7853 IMG_7854

Except, we didn’t have any strawberries, so I used raspberries.


And I’m not the world’s biggest fan of whipped cream, but I do love yogurt. Stellar snack!

Soon the smell of freshly baked bread was replaced with that of bbq chicken


Once again, my mom pulled together a fabulous meal.


A chicken thigh in a sauce of bbq sauce, ketchup, soy sauce and top-secret spices. Paired with roasted parsnip, carrots, sweet potato and potato. This meal was to die for. I think I may just bring my mom to Toronto with me instead of bothering to come back here :P


Some links!!

Apparently a lot of reverse photoshopping is done to too-thin models to make them look healthier. You hear so much about editors tucking in little pudges and rolls, that I never considered that some women need to have their bony bodies hidden. This deeply saddens me. Read about it here. One editor blames shrinking designer sample sizes, so magazines have no choice but to hire too-thin models to wear them.

A recent study says that you can burn more fat by skipping breakfast before your morning workout. They claim that without stored carbohydrates to pull on, your body will look for fat to fuel activity. I only have basic training on how these energy systems work, but I do know that the fatty acids in your muscles aren’t the same as the fat that sits around your tummy. Why would you want to risk being in a catabolic state and breaking down your muscles? A better idea is to have at least 100 calories worth of simple carbs (fruit juice, a banana, yogurt, etc) before your morning workout. It will give you tons more energy, and I betcha you’ll burn a lot more calories when you aren’t dragging through your workout hungry and dizzy.

Finally, this is the most awkward exercise I’ve ever seen. Please don’t ever do this. Thank you.


Question of the Day: Now that I know all about your favourite kinds of pizza – what’s your favourite kind of bread?? Brown bread over here please :) Or, if flatbreads are included (why not, it’s my question after all!) I luuuurve naan.

Posted on June 6, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Oh Lord. Weighted donkey calf raise? BAHAHA.

    I love me some naan too! Second would be a good grainy sourgrain.

    When I was severely restricting, working out was extremely hard. I was dizzy like you mentioned, my endurance was essentially nonexistant, and I was far too tired to be concerned with doing the exercises correctly. I strongly urge against non-fueled workouts; it’s like driving your car down the interstate on no gas. Just not a good idea at all.

  2. I’ve become obsessed with sour dough bread, it’s excellent.
    i’m pretty sure i’d marry wholemeal multigrain bread if i could.

  3. Everything looks great, especially the pancakes!

  4. I find it doesn’t matter too much for me if I eat or not before exercise on lighter days. Those days where I work out harder, or we are biking to breakfast after my lifting session, I need to have something before I work out or I bonk!

    Ahhh bread. I just love bread. White bread, whole grain bread, quick breads, fried breads. Love.

    You need to try your hand at a yeast bread. I highly suggest the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes book. See if your library has it. There is the first one, and the 2nd healthy bread book (which we own). Easy peasy.

  5. I always pronounce it sk-own even though I know the proper way is to call them sk-onns. I just can’t seem to change!

    Your soda bread looks amazing! I’ve only made it once before (Irish soda bread for St. Patrick’s Day) but now I am inspired to bake it again.

  6. if you continue to utilize your mama’s kitchen the way you have been i’m thinking about moving in with you.

  7. Mmm… Bread. And pancakes.

    Goodness, I wish my problem was reverse photoshopping. How horrid ;) I kid. I think its a real problem that models are that thin…. What message are we sending to society with that? It just makes me worry for younger, more susceptible girls.

  8. Ahhh, I see you are smitten with the baking bug too. I mean really, how could one not be, especially when you see the fantastic creations coming out of your oven. Your soda bread looks wonderful. Thanks for thinking of me. I do love my own whole wheat bread, naan is awesome too but the flax bread from the Sobeys bakery… is my favorite. Seriously.

  9. Madeline - Greens and Jeans

    If I show up at our door, will you feed me? Please? Irish brown bread is HANDS DOWN my favorite!

  10. At one of my old gyms they had a machine for the donkey calf raise and it did work you well…but I would NEVER have someone sit on my back to do that. Just crazy!!!

    And I completely agree about morning workouts. You will burn more by having energy to use from a small meal. Some info makes sense in the basic way of things, but when you really analyze it it is just mumbo jumbo. There is an instructor that always says you MUST do cardio AFTER weights if you want to burn fat. I always want to scream at her that isn’t the case. You should do your workout in whichever order gives you the most energy and where you will get it in. I know people who will skip cardio if they don’t get it out of the way first…or people who want to focus on their running so need more energy for that over weights. It’s just frustrating how much info is out there claiming it is the ONLY way.

  11. My favorite Daily Bread would totally have to be homemade brown bread. But if you are asking for a special bread that I enjoy on occasion, it would have to be pineapple bread pudding!! I really hope that counts, because I love dessert breads so much that I dont think that I could survive without it!! :)
    I also DONT agree with the new study that says that you should skip breakfast before working out. I had a friend today in my pilates class get light headed because she hadnt eaten breakfast yet that day and came to work out in the hopes that she would lose more weight. It was very scary and I had to “lecture” her about eating breakfast before working out!! :)

  12. I LOVE a good sourdough bread. Maybe it’s my CA roots? Normally, I’m all for healthy, grainy, wheaty bread, especially with nut butter or sandwiches, but I will admit that a good piece of “white-flour” bread with some butter…heavenly. Baking is still scary to me…I can handle cookies (and blondies, duh) because generally sugar plus butter will always get you something people will eat, but real bread, scones, cakes…all scary to me. I have been itching to make muffins though, and those are pretty easy.

  13. I’m an idiot. I thought it was called soda bread because you use the beverage to make it. Hah. Anyway! I love baking. Its soothing. Yayyyyyy for pancake Sunday!!!

  14. i had some pancakes today, they were sooo good. i think im in a pancake frenzy now. i’m going to have to try your recipe.

    fav bread is cinnamon raisin. or a good old croissant. soooo flaky and buttery!

  15. I’m really loving rye bread at the moment, its so filling and nutty tasting! I can’t believe I used to eat that diet bread, it was so light it should have floated away! I like my bread as dense as possible now!

    • I used to eat a lot of diet bread too, it was awful! Bread is one of those things that is totally worth the extra calories – especially when it keeps you fuller me longer :)

  16. Favorite bread has to be rye for me. I love it toasted it goes really chewy and with a good smear of peanut butter its heaven! x x

  17. I love baking too, something about it feels so productive!

    My fav bread is the chewy Italian/French – ciabatta, focaccia, baguettes. Mmm mmm!

  18. OMG I am obsessed with irish soda bread and my mom has a cast iron skillet so I used to make it in there…I had a friend whos mom made the most amazing irish soda bread I have ever had on this planet…and she used to bake it for me and bring in the whole loaf to school! i would eat it in a school day, I kid you not! yours looks so good! its delicious with some golden raisins too!!

  19. I loved this post. And the photography and the links and everything! I’ve been away far too long! :-)

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Irish soda bread (with raisins). LOVE IT. Your bread looked amazing. the beauty with soda bread is that you don’t need to let it rise or wait or any of that rot. Like you, I’m a naan fiend. I also like french bread and seedy crusty brown bread. But I don’t eat too much of it or I’d blow up like a balloon!

    And yes, I’ve heard of the Sconnn vs Scoooone debate ;-)

    That was a very interesting article and it’s old as the hills- ancient body building/training regimes recommend cardio on an empty stomach. I never know what to believe. Turns out I can’t eat a big breakfast before training anyway, so sometimes I may go into a workout with 100 or 200 cals anyway, but I don’t make a habit of it- I just have to follow my hunger.

    Much love to youuuu! Sounds like you are having a wonderful time with mom <3 What a treasure!

  20. YUM I love fresh baked bread! A hearty seven grain bread is my fave.


  21. Weighted donkey calf raise looks absurd! If I ever see someone doing that in the gym, I will be taking photos and shaming them on the interwebs.

    My favourite bread is brown bread, preferably Tesco’s Finest brand (English). I love it! Second best is a really good french baguette. Oui.

    Also: soda bread with cheese and molasses makes me want to cry with needing it in my mouth. I’d also destroy some with some irish stew. Maybe you should make some of that….just saying ;)

    • Is cheese and molasses on bread common in England?? My mom spent part of her childhood in Ireland, and my Papa was Scottish, but it’s hard to tell what’s tradition, and what’s just my wacky family ;)

  22. Mmm, I was just saying yesterday, there’s almost nothing better than warm fresh bread with butter melting on it… bliss, indeed.

    and that salad? with the laughing cow as dressing? genius. I want that for Second Breakfast, right now!

    and the weighted donkey calf raise…? not only is it providing me with laughs this morning, thank you, but I also will need to work that phrase into conversation today. this is my goal.

  23. You are a baking machine! That bread looks amazing. Bread + butter= unbeatable. Fo sho.
    BAHAHA thank you for posting that exercise. Great for a laugh :)

  24. That exercise move has to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in my entire life… what self-respecting person would DO that?

    I haven’t had real bread in so long… probably my favorite would be a real coarse, chewy, wheaty bread. Yumm.

  25. Oh, cheese and molasses sounds interesting. I love cheese with jam- and jam/honey are similar. Hmm. And no, there is nothing better than warm out the oven bread with butter. I was just talking to my dad last night about the trips to France we used to take, and the fresh-out-the-oven baguettes we ate for breakfast everyday with Nutella. Delish. I love good Granary bread- organic tastes a million times better to me.I also love wraps/flatbread…oh, and how can I forget fresh pita? We lived in a predominantly Jewish area in London filled with Israeli restaurants and the pita bread was out of this world. Speaking of Jewish food, I think challah is my all time favourite bread.

    I hope you are saying SKONN now. Because then you will get my joke: what’s the fastest food in the world? A scone(get it? “it’s gone…”) Haha.

    I need food before working out. Heck, I need food before anything. My day doesn’t start until there is caffeine in my blood and food in my belly.

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