The Healing Power of Baking



My mother was an excellent cook and she always baked on Saturdays. Although our 1960’s kitchen was small and lacking in modern style worktops, the twin tub washing machine cover, the flap of the 60’s dresser and the top of the fridge were transformed into baking tables.

Mum taught my three younger sisters and I to cook and bake, and every Saturday the kitchen tops would overflow with Coffee and Walnut Cake, Scones, Pancakes, Apple pie…

Sadly, Mum died aged just 42, on 15 February 1970, three weeks shy of my fifteenth birthday. My sisters were aged 13 and 11 – the youngest being twins.

She had left our home on Valentine’s night on a stretcher. Her last words to us children were, “I’ll see you all tomorrow.”


Although overwhelmed by grief, we continued to bake every Saturday; I found it incredibly therapeutic.

I still bake on Saturdays in her memory.

One of my regular recipes is Old Fashioned Treacle Scone.


500g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

2 large eggs

250g natural yogurt or buttermilk

200g black treacle (similar to molasses)

1 tsp powdered ginger

1 tsp powdered cloves

1 tsp powdered cinnamon

4 tablespoons soya or almond milk or cows milk.


  • Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Add beaten eggs
  • Place treacle and milk in a saucepan on a low heat – to melt gently
  • Add liquid to bowl and mix well.

It should now look like this:


  • Add a handful of flour to your bowl
  • Rub your hands with flour
  • Gently knead your mix on a board
  • Create a round, and cut a cross shape with a knife
  • Place on a lightly floured baking tray.


Bake at 200 degrees for approximately 40 minutes.

Turn out onto a clean, dry tea towel and wrap the bread to preserve a soft crust.

Serve with or without butter.


Nutritional qualities of black treacle

Black treacle is very high in beneficial nutrients including:

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6.

Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.


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