Monday, June 2, 2014

Review : Bread on the Table

There is nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread.  Once I get the scent, I automatically reach for the butter (Irish salted butter in case you were wondering) to create the perfect partnership.  Supermarkets cottoned onto this years ago and waft the aroma through the store to encourage people to grab a loaf or two.  They also have "artisan" ranges of bread, looking almost like something that your Granny used to make.  A lot of these loaves aren't as they seem though - they're brought into the store frozen and part baked, needing just a quick blast in the oven to give them the finishing touch.  It's actually pretty easy to bake your own bread and Bread on the Table by Valerie O'Connor is the book that will encourage you to roll up your sleeves and turn on the oven.

Valerie O'Connor is a cook, food writer and photographer based in Limerick.  She wrote and photographed every recipe in the book and brings you on a journey from basic white yeast bread to butter via soda breads (the easiest bread in the world), flavoured breads, gluten free goodies and sweet things.  What I really like is Valerie's step by step instructions for making the bread.  If you've always been afraid of baking rather than buying, this book will convert you.  Her Brown Bread Nan Phadai is exactly like the delicious brown bread we were served every day by the Bean an Ti in Rannafeirste in Donegal, when we were teenagers in the Gaeltacht.  And the cheeky recipe for Tayto Blaas is worth the effort!

Bread on the Table by Valerie O'Connor is published by The O'Brien Press


  1. Hi Aoife, I would like to contact you about a product review and I cannot see how to get in touch. Would you mind emailing me at debracareyuk at Thank you very much. Deb