Bread and Cheese …….. updated!

When we were at the Corfe Castle event I wrote about making bread viking style.

Last weekend I had a chance to try this out myself when we were at a Fingal Living History event held in the grounds of Malahide Castle near Dublin.

I had the basic recipe that I had used in the past, and after watching the Manaraefan ladies cooking some, I was pretty confident that this would work.

I used spelt flour (purely because I use spelt rather than wheat in all my baking). For measurement purposes I used a 2 cups to 1 ratio of white to brown flour. I added some yeast and some crushed garlic, and then used just enough warm water to bind it together to create the dough. Then I divided the mixture into small balls and left for about 15 minutes until it had risen a little. To cook the bread I just placed the bread balls onto the pan and cooked over the fire. A word of warning; you need to be careful with the heat from the fire. If the pan is directly on the fire, the bread may burn on the outside before it is cooked.  Also, dust the pan with a little flour to stop the bread from sticking to the pan.
You know the bread is cooked when you tap it and it sounds hollow.

1-DSCF4207For the second batch I actually cooked it on the griddle suspended over the fire.

I also made the cheese/butter spread I had been shown at Corfe.
I took half a block of butter and allowed it to soften enough that I could mix the same weight of Cashel Blue cheese through it – delicious.
No picture though – it got eaten before I could take the photo!!

Meanwhile over at the FLHS kitchen the girls were also cooking bread. Their bread mixture was made with oatmeal and apple. I’ve done this in the past where I’ve added some pinhead oatmeal to the bread mixture.

1-DSCF4350This was fun to do and quite easy to make……….

Bread and Cheese…….

When we were at Corfe I got the chance to see some bread made over the campfire. I’ve tried this in the past (and it worked quite well) but I was interested to see how other re-enactors made theirs.
The bread recipe I had tried in the past had used equal quantities of spelt and barley flour mixed with a little oil ( I used olive oil) and then I added some water or milk to make a dough.
After mixing thoroughly, I made flat-breads and cooked them on the griddle over the camp-fire. Served with smoked mackerel it made a delicious breakfast!!
The recipe I used is pretty close to the one described in this blog (in the section about Baking without Yeast).

At Corfe, we were lucky to be camped beside some members from Manaraefan.  These guys have great experience doing living history displays, so I figured I’d pick their brains.
I was delighted to see that they made their bread in a similar way, except they added a little yeast to allow the bread to rise, and some roasted garlic to add a little flavour.

1-DSCF3439The bread was delicious – but then again I love freshly baked bread. And another treat; another member of the group had made a Blue Cheese Spread to go with the bread, Unfortunately I didn’t write the recipe down, but from memory it was equal quantities of butter and blue cheese; cream the butter until smooth and then add the cheese.

I’m definitely going to try this again at the next show we go to. The roasted garlic sounds wonderful; I love garlic bread with cheese – viking pizza!!

The Long Valley……….

Many years ago I lived and worked in Cork. One of the places I regularly hung out in was The Long Valley Bar on Winthrop Street in the city center. I remember it as a long and narrow pub filled with conversation and laughter. It was a great place for a pint, with good company, and it served the best sandwiches……..

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Recently I  visited the city again as part of a viking adventure, so we decided to stay an extra couple of days; a chance to visit old haunts!

We made our way to the ‘Valley’, mainly to see who would be there, and if it had changed much since I left. On walking in the door, I instantly thought it was wider. It turned out that there had been some renovations and the bar had indeed been moved to give customers more room.

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When the owner remembered my name I was speechless; I left Cork over twenty years ago. Question was did they remember me for good or bad reasons?!! Well, it mustn’t have been all bad as they didn’t throw me out!

Sandwich ordered we sat and waited. When it arrived it didn’t disappoint! They are freshly made, looked amazing and tasted as good as it looked.

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We went back the next night for a few pints. The pub was quite empty, but it was a Monday night after all. There was a poetry reading club in the bar upstairs; form the laughter and chat that we could hear, it sounded like a pretty social gathering! Where we were in the bar, the conversation was good; and it felt good to be back there!

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If you’re ever in Cork and looking for a place to go, drop in and say hi!! And don’t forget the sandwich…….

You can also check them out on their website; http://www.thelongvalleybar.com/
They’re also looking for old photos of the pub and the clientele.