With January enjoying its last few hours before we greet Imbolc and Saint Brigid’s Day tomorrow (a celebration which, with the exception of the Saint Brigid’s Cross, has been lost in the mists of time), I have prepared a porridge bread recipe in honour of the occasion.
I love Kevin Danaher’s 1972 book The Year in Ireland: Irish Calendar Customs which has chapters on the holy and feast days of old. In the chapter entitled “Saint Brighid’s Day”, Kevin explains the following about 31st January:
“The housewife made sure the house was clean and tidy for the occasion and no matter how poor the household, always provided a festive supper or at least some tasty dish on St Brighid’s Eve”.
He also explains how some porridge or cake would be left outside alongside the Brigid’s Mantle and some straw as an offering to Brigid and her white cow. Of course, these traditions have now been consigned to the history books, but I thought it would be fun to explore a new oat bread recipe in honour of Imbolc and the old Irish ways.
This oatmeal porridge bread is wheat free, super easy to make and so delicious you will not want to be leaving any outside as an offering.
It only needs a few simple ingredients to take it from this…
…and finally to this
It makes an amazing speedy breakfast or lunch with a bowl of soup.
Oatmeal Porridge Bread Recipe
500ml Natural yoghurt (large tub with most brands)
1 tbsp honey (plus optional extra for glaze)
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
400g / 14oz Porridge oats
1 cup seeds (I used chia and sunflower seeds)
- Break the egg into a large bowl and add the honey, yoghurt, and seeds mix well to combine
- Add the bicarbonate of soda and give a a quick stir
- Add the oats and mix thoroughly – it’s quicker if you use your hands. The batter should be sticky and able to hold it’s shape when you are done
- Spoon the batter into a greased and lined loaf tin and flatten with the back of a spoon
- Brush the top with a little honey and scatter the seeds over (if you opt not to use seeds you can sprinkle some porridge oats instead)
- Place in an oven pre-heated to 180/350 for 45-55 minutes. For the last 10 minutes or so of cooking turn the bread upside down in the tin and place back in the oven. When cooked, the loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom
- Wrap in a clean tea towel and leave to cool before slicing
NB* there isn’t a massive rise on this loaf so I use this Wilton medium loaf tin (pictured above) which measures 8.5″ x 4.5″ x 2.5. The batter fits in this tin neatly.
Read more about Brigid in Lá Fhéile Bríde – The Feast of St. Brigid
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