Sunday, March 17, 2019

Guest Marian Stanley's Irish Soda Bread

Mystery Lovers' Kitchen is delighted to welcome author Marian Stanley with the perfect recipe for St. Patrick's Day!

VARIATIONS ON IRISH BREAD

I am partial to my mother’s Irish bread which is a cake-like white variety. My friend Jody often gifts us with a different one – a lovely Irish brown bread from her late husband Ed’s recipe. Our sister-in-law Kathleen makes a perfect traditional Irish soda bread but has no recipe for it. She just . . . does it. The very best part of the bread, says Kathleen, is the caila or the heel. I can’t find caila in the Gaelic dictionary. She doesn’t know how it should be spelled and why would that be important now, anyway? Perhaps it’s a County Louth term. In any case, Kathleen would be right – all that extra warm outer crust with sweet Irish butter is special.

Our friend Elaine brought a scrumptious soda bread over to our back door for Christmas too. The one we chose to share, however, is this one - called the Marilyn O’Reilly Soda Bread, by way of our daughter Katherine, who makes a delicious round. I couldn’t decide on which of these variations of Irish bread would be featured in my WIP, The Mariposa Circle, but I think it could be this one.

Served with a pot of Barry’s Irish tea – in the pot prepared beforehand with an extra rinse of hot water, sweet Irish butter and a good marmalade. I like Dundee.

IRISH SODA BREAD

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
1 cup raisins
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg


Directions:

Set rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to mix.

Add butter and cut/rub in until butter disappears into the dry ingredients.

Stir in raisins and, if chosen, caraway seeds.

In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk and egg. Mix into the dough mixture with a rubber spatula.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and fold over on itself several times to make a round loaf. Transfer to a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan covered with aluminum foil and cut a cross on the top. 


Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook for about 15 or 20 minutes more, Toothpick test center.

Cool on a rack and serve with butter and marmalade.



Like her protagonist Rosaria in The Immaculate, Marian McMahon Stanley enjoyed a long international corporate career with a Fortune 500 company and, more recently, a senior position at a large, urban university in Boston. She is the mother of four adult children and a growing number of grandchildren. Marian writes in a small, bookish, historical town west of Boston and on Cape Ann in Gloucester, the nation’s oldest seaport. She lives with her husband Bill and — just as in the story — a Westie named Archie.

Buried Troubles is Marian's most recent book, and she's hard at work on the next, The Mariposa Circle.

Find out more on her website

Marian is giving away a copy of Buried Troubles. Just leave a comment below (with your email address), and answer the question, "Have you ever made Irish bread?"


65 comments:

  1. Oh, I love Irish soda bread! But the couple of times I made it the dough was too wet and I couldn't begin to knead it. But that didn't really matter as it turned out to taste absolutely wonderful! I'm not sure why I decided to used golden raisins - a lot of recipes call for currants - but I thought they made the bread extra special. One of these days I'll have to add the caraway seeds.
    Love your books, Marian! jm purcel at hotmail dot com

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  2. Thanks, Judi! I find the bread very forgiving. The time, the bread turned out lumpier than I would have liked - though it was fine for the picture, thank goodness. When we had the bread with tea later, it was delicious. So, not to worry. (Generally, if the bread is a little wet, I just sprinkle in a little more flour.)Yes, many recipes call for golden raisins. I always use the black ones and would use caraway seeds, but they are not my husband’s favorite!

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  3. Hubby and I both love to bake and most times are in the kitchen together. We love to make homemade breads, but I must say we have never tired to make soda bread. Your recipe for Irish Soda Bread I do believe will change that. I sounds wonderful!

    Thank you for the marvelous opportunity to win a copy of "Buried Troubles". I would love the chance to read about Rosaria O’Reilly's adventures.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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  4. I've never made it or tasted it I don't think! JL_Minter@hotmail.com

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    1. Oh goodness, Jaime- this is the season to take the Irish bread leap! ☘️

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  5. I’ve never made it because my boyfriend can’t have raisins
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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    1. Well, not everyone would agree but I have made with cranberries, Sandy. Of course, I like almost everything with cranberries, but Inlike that variation very much. I would put a littlr bit more sugar in just to offset that wonderful cranberry tartness.

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  6. I hope you and your husband like it, Kay! There are many excellent recipes and variation on the Irish bread theme. With sweet butter (and marmalade to taste) and a good strong cup of tea, it’s a pleasant experience.

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  7. I've never made Irish Soda Bread before, but your recipe sounds wonderful and simple, so I think I will give it a try. Thanks for visiting Mystery Lovers' Kitchen and for your giveaway! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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  8. I love to eat Irish Soda Bread but I have never made it. Definitely going to try this recipe. Thanks. bernice-kennedy(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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  9. If I’m cooking it, Celia, it’s simple! I hope you try the recipe and enjoy the result.

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  10. Easy to make and yummy to eat, Bernice!

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  11. I've never made Irish Soda Bread but I would like to try it. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

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  12. I love eating Irish Soda Bread, but have never made it. When it comes to baking and plants, my late husband always said I have a black thumb.

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  13. Making it today. You have a fine recipe. Would you believe my Hungarian Mom always made this special bread for St Patrick’s Day? Not a crumb left!

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  14. I’ve haven’t made it yet. The recipe sounds delicious. I’ll make it today.

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    1. Good - hope it turns out well for you, Donamae!

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  15. I have never made it but I've never met a bread I didn't like!! It sounds like something I might be able to do, though, so maybe I should attempt it!! (ibmandums@yahoo.com)

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  16. I love Irish Soda bread and make it every St. Paddy's Day and several times throughout the year. I don't like raisins so I substitute currants and always add the caraway.
    robsnest60(@)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. You could probably teach us a few tricks. I do love caraway seeds in the bread, but sadly, my husband does not!

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  17. No, I have never made Irish soda bread. I should try it though, if I can figure out a sub for the buttermilk. It looks delicious! mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

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    1. A tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into a one cup container and add whole milk to complete the full cup. One substitute people use. Also some recipes suggest 3/4 teaspoon whole milk and fill the rest of h cup with sour cream.

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  18. Welcome to the Kitchen, Marian! My mother, not one bit Irish, learned to make soda bread from one of the Irish nuns who taught at my Catholic high school, and it's still a family fave. Congrats on the new release!

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    1. Thanks, Leslie! One of the best local places to buy Irish brown bread here is an Albanian cafe where an Irish waitress worked for a while and shared her recipe. Cross-cultural sharing!

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