first_imgChef Martin AndersonYes it’s national bread week in case you haven’t heard ……well it’s nearly over but now is your chance to take part and make a loaf yourself .Now when I say bread week I’m not talking about the mass produced balls of chemically enhanced , bleached flour , batch backed , wrapped in plastic , mouldy in a day or even worse never go stale loaves of bread.I’m talking about real bread, sometimes a rarity in this day and age . When I first started catering I made a conscious decision to use only real breads. We are still asked to make white and brown sliced bread sandwiches but I always try and persuade our clients to have open sandwiches. That is real bread served with the topping on top, I will make the more traditional sandwich but I nearly always get my way!For our larger events and weddings I only serve real artisan breads , no par baked cuisine de tasteless for us.We are lucky here in the northwest that we have a fantastic selection of bakeries making real bread on a daily basis .One of my own personal favourites is Scarpello & Co . Based near Killea , they source only the finest of flour and use their own sourdough starter , that is they have produced the yeast based raising agent themselves, keep some for the next batch and so on.There are known cases of the starter being over 100 years old , it’s a chain reaction passed on through the generations of bakers . All their breads are baked in a wood fired oven , again unique compared to the trolley loads of bread wheeled in and out of massive ovens .They also bake a fantastic Guinness flavoured wheaten loaf , very popular with our clients , it tastes so good when buttered & served with fresh seafood chowder or even just lightly toasted & topped with homemade jam . Their sourdough is one of the best breads you will ever taste, delivered warm with a real crust and that amazing aroma of real bread and again a unique flavour. Baking real bread is a very passionate thing. Never bake when you are angry I’ve said that before but share the love and your bread will respond !!So to the baking. When you attempt your first loaf or even scones it is very important to follow the rules. Make sure you have a good recipe. Get one that a family member has used before or from a very good website. There are several available just ask the google and you will find one.There are also a lot of food bloggers who have great recipes that they have tried themselves and you’ll be able to ask them advice or see what other people have said about the recipes.One in particular is from a friend of mine , Anna-Jane Kingston , a young lady from Donegal , living in Galway and attracting a lot of attention at the moment with her blog, recipes, magazine articles and I believe she will be cooking on TV3 am next Monday as well. Check out here site for some fantastic recipes done to her, I’ve a great face for radio so luckily I never made it to TV !!! …….yet !!Anyway, back to the breads. Only use good quality flour. I find the value flours or cheaper brands just don’t make for good baking , if the recipe says butter …. use butter. If it says margarine then buy a good quality one. Why skimp on quality ingredients ? It will only ruin the flavour . Make sure you have the correct equipment. Don’t use that rusty loaf tin from the garage. Buy a proper tin , the same rule applies for all baking , get the correct tins for the job !!Make sure your oven is working correctly. No two ovens are the same , gas or electric , fan assisted or not. It may take a few attempts to get the shelving right and find where the hot spots are. If you burn the bread it’s a good hint that the oven is too hot !!Invest in a cooling rack , nobody likes a sweaty loaf ,bread must be allowed to cool naturally to form a crust after baking , unless you like a soft crust then you can place a damp cloth over the loaf and the steam will soften the crust for you .Take your time ! Never attempt a new recipe if you are under pressure , follow each step in the baking process………… It’s not the Great Irish Bake off , it’s for yourself & family ! Never be disappointed if your baking doesn’t work out the first time , even the best bakers make mistakes , it will work out in the end .So this weeks recipe is for a very simple Banana & carrot Bread , tasty & works out all the time for me. Happy Baking .Banana and carrot bread You will need.A 2lb loaf tin , make sure it is well buttered .120g of sunflower margarine.150g of honey.1 banana mashed.2 eggs.180g of wheaten flour.1 teaspoon of baking powder.100g of chopped walnuts20g of sultanas.1 medium carrot, grated.Nutmeg, cinnamon or ground cloves to season.Method.Pre-heat your oven to 170c.Beat your honey and margarine together until fluffy.Add the banana and carrot to the margarine mix.Beat the eggs and add to the mixture, finally add the baking powder to the flour and add to the wet mix, making sure it is well blended.Add the walnuts , sultanas and season with your spices .Pour the finished mix into a greased loaf tin and bake until cooked. (40 minutes or more).Leave to cool slightly and de-mould.Allow to cool on that wire rack you bought!USE YOUR LOAF………WITH CHEF MARTIN ANDERSON was last modified: October 9th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:chefdonegalMartin Andersonlast_img read more