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Lovely Holidays & a Recipe for Irish Brown Bread

Irish Brown Bread - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The most romantic day of the year. The day where lovers ‘round the world take time to celebrate one another, showering each other in gifts of jewels, chocolate, and flowers. It is, perhaps, my favourite day of the year. If you know me at all, you know I’m all about romance.

I like to start my day on Valentine’s by making C an elaborate breakfast in bed, and serenading him with romantic songs on my ukulele as he eats. He then gives me an assortment of gifts: jewels, mostly, but also organic, GMO-free chocolates, several dozen organic local roses in various hues {that he personally de-thorns so as to ensure my delicate fingers remain unblemished}, and, usually, he presents me with a certificate with my name on it – along with the name of a star that he has purchased in my honour. Our love is otherworldly, as it should be, on this blessed day of Valentine’s.

Irish Brown Bread - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

If you really know me, you know that I threw up in my mouth just a little bit as I typed the word, “lovers.”

In all honestly, I think that Valentine’s Day is kind of ridiculous {though I wouldn’t turn down chocolate or flowers any day of the year. That goes without saying.}. Romance in general makes me uncomfortable, and I get a bit squeamish at the thought of public displays of affection. I love long walks on the beach {as long as sandcastles, frolicking, and general merriment are involved}, and dinner by candlelight is pretty neat, too {especially if the power is out}, but please, for the love of all things good in the world, just let me be my awkward self.

Irish Brown Bread - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

All that said, I am completely aware the for the most part, people love all that mushy stuff, and I have nothing against it. So this year, to celebrate this most ridiculous special of holidays, I shall gorge on homemade Irish Brown Bread and runny eggs, and then buy a stranger some flowers; because full bellies are happy bellies, and doing nice things for others is, well, nice.


Irish Brown Bread - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Irish Brown Bread
Adapted from My Recipes

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup whole-wheat bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons cold butter
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup quick-cooking steel-cut oats
1 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl fit to an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix bread flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and mix on low-medium speed until pea-sized bit of butter dot the mixture.

3. Add the remaining flour and oats, mix for a few seconds, and then add the yogurt and honey. Mix just until the wet ingredients are incorporated, and then remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball.

4. Place the ball of dough on the parchment and flatten it slightly, so it’s about 7 inches wide. Dust the top of it with flour, and cut an “X” into the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the loaf is light golden brown in colour. Remove the bread from the oven and cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into it.

Irish Brown Bread - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

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