My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Easy Irish Soda Bread and Irish Cookbook Giveaway!

"Every St. Patrick's Day every Irishman goes out to find another Irishman to make a speech to."
My blog debuted in July and I've been waiting all the many months since for March to arrive.  Oh, wonderful March, when for one day the whole world turns green.  You know what I'm talking about...St. Patrick's Day! In the US, March has also been proclaimed as Irish-American Heritage Month by US Congress.  It's kind of a big deal around here!
St. Patrick's Day in the U.S.:
Did you know the Irish Society of Boston organised what was not only the first Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the colonies but the first recorded Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the world on 18 March 1737. (The first parade in Ireland did not occur until 1931 in Dublin.) New York's first Saint Patrick's Day Parade was held on 17 March 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British Army. The first celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1766, the parades were held as political and social statements because the Irish immigrants were being treated unfairly. (Wikipedia)
To celebrate, I'm going to post only Irish recipes for the next couple of weeks and a bit about my Irish heritage. For starters, I'm sharing with you my favorite (and easiest) Irish Soda Bread.  It is devoid of raisins, seeds and embellishments because my children don't like them.  I'll be sharing some other Irish soda bread recipes with you as well.  There are many varieties.  After all, it's really like a big scone, isn't it?  This one is slightly sweet, light and addictive!  Warm from the oven with butter melting into of life's simple pleasures.  Very easy to whip up and to give as gifts too.  

Although I don't cook Irish food exclusively, I do love it and to spread some inspiration, I'd like to share a fabulous Irish cookbook with one lucky reader. Here is what Ruth Reichl, Editor In Chief, GOURMET Magazine, had to say about it (from back cover of book):

"Reading this lovely book makes me want to do two things. Get on a plane and go straight to Ireland.  And run into the kitchen and start cooking.  This is an inspired introduction to an overlooked cuisine."

Enter for a Chance to Win this Cookbook!
This is a lovely, hardcover, beautifully written, 383 page book ($50 value) with wonderful Irish recipes that will inspire you. I'll share a few of them here. 
All you have to do for a chance to win it, is leave a comment on any of my blog posts between now and March 17, 2011.  You'll receive an automatic entry for every comment.  If you tweet about it, send a copy to @TheIrishMother and I'll toss in an additional entry for you!
 I'll announce the winner on March 23, 2011.

Easy Irish Soda Bread

3 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Either grease a cookie sheet, or place a piece of parchment paper on it.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking power, baking soda and salt.  Pour in melted butter, buttermilk and egg and stir together JUST until it comes together.  Do not overbeat, or it will give it a tough crumb.
Turn dough onto a floured board and knead lightly, just 3 or 4 folds.  Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons melted butter and 2 tablespoons cream.  Brush loaf with this mixture, sprinkle with sugar and using a sharp knife, cut and X into the top of the loaf.
Bake in a preheated oven 40 - 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.


Di said...

That looks delicious, Margaret! I like soda bread without lots of stuff in it, and I'm sure my girls will like it as well. Half of my heritage is Irish (my maiden name is McMahon). =)

Michael said...

Looks good I plan on trying it for St. Pat's.

suburban prep said...

I love Irish Soda bread.
My 4 yr old nephew loves to make it with me. He even has the middle name of Patrick (having been born at the end of March).
I with a name like Maureen Sheila (no hiding the fact that I am Irish).
I have this book on my wish list too.

Nic's Notebook said...

Oooh good old soda bread! I make mine as soda farls - they are sooo yummy :) Looking forward to the rest of your recipes x

CoastalKate said...

'tis the season. My favorite time of year. Can't wait to see, and try, your recipes. The soda bread looks divine.

Anonymous said...

Must be the luck o'the Irish finding your wonderful blog today... thanks for this great recipe. My Irish eyes are smilin'!

Not sure how to leave my e-mail address without a URL or blog of my own (or anything else technically savvy!) Please advise. For now I shall remain Anonymous, but I really would like to enter your Irish cookbook giveaway. Thank you!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Thank you all! I'll put in entries for you!
@Anonymous: Look here on the blog on March 23 to see who won. If it's you, I'll reference your comment and you can email me at with your address!

Kristen said...

Soda bread is one of my favorite treats. Sometimes I just have to make, no matter what time of year, just to indulge. Yours is looks delicious, especially with all that butter dripping off the slice. I may have to go heat up the oven.

I spent a St. Patrick's day in Ireland one year. It's not nearly as fun there....everything shuts down!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Kristen: Yes, I make it at other times of year as well. I'd like to make it to Ireland, but now that I see what you say, I'll make sure not to time it for St. Patrick's Day!

sara @ CaffeIna said...

I just made mini Irish soda breads with my little baker. Now I really want to make more and try this recipe! Thanks for sharing and looking forward St Patrick to be here :)

Anna Johnston said...

Aussies get into St Patricks day in a crazy green way too., although just for the actual day, you guys (in typical Irish fashion no doubt) celebrate for the month of March. Well..., I like that.... a lot. Because I'd do just about anything to get a look at that cookbook..., I'll be playing in the retweet, commenting till your sick of me. I've seen this cookbook spoken of before in hallowed tones, so count me in :)

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Anna: Haha! Feel free to earn as many entries as you like! Always happy to see you here ;-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your help. I've been reading through your eclectic recipes and enjoying your commentary very much. (No microwave? -- LOVE it -- long live the good ol' fashioned way!) Also, the photos are lovely. Thanks again for sharing your culinary spirit with us!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Thank you so much for your kind comment! I'm glad you stopped by. It's always my hope that my enthusiasm for cooking will be infectious and someone might try a recipe now and then!

Timmy said...

Looks great!

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme said...

Margaret - I'm so glad to have found your blog through a tweet this morning! One of my most precious memories is the trip my husband and I took to Ireland a few years ago. We both have ancestral roots there and it felt like a homecoming rather than a visit. I look forward to the Irish recipes you'll be publishing and to visiting here very often.


i'm having one of those moments where i realize that i've never made irish soda bread - how is that even possible given that i am part irish??? i must rectify this immediately!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Lana: I'm happy you found it as well! My husband and I are hoping to visit Ireland in the next couple of years. With 1 kid in college, and 2 more to start in as many years, it keeps getting bumped, but one can dream! For now, I'm just an Irish-American who embraces her heritage with ferocity! So glad to meet you and will check out your blog now!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Smithbites: Let me know how you like your soda bread, even if you choose a different recipe to try! Thanks for visiting!

Verena said...

Oh this bread looks just sooooo... good! I love making my own bread and I want thank you for sharing this great recipe!!!
Have a great week!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Verena: Thanks Verena! Always nice to see you! xo

Mary said...

Margaret your soda bread looks and sounds wonderful. I'd love to join in the drawing for that gorgeous book. Have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

dejavucook said...

I always make this bread plain as well, history repeats itself, like my mother and grandmother. Hope I win this great book.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Mary: Thank you for your kind comment & your entry is in. :-)
@Dejavucook: You are so right, and good luck!

Sue said...

I am here in the Emerald isle at the moment and enjoying the amazing breads and of course the fry ups!!
It's been a busy trip, closing down the family home but we still managed to have some time to laugh and reminisce. I'll be watching to see what Irish recipes you will be doing this month. I am taking home my mum's old recipe files and will be baking and cooking some of them on my blog in the not too distant future.

Anonymous said...

Make sure you check out Bobby Flay's Ireland next Saturday on Food Network at 9pm

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Sue: I can't wait to hear about your mom's recipes.
@Anon: Thank's for the head's up!

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I baked this bread- it's delicious!
Thanks for the recipe!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Elborgi: That's great! I'm so happy you liked it! Thanks for taking the time to tell me. :-)

Kayte said...

I have never thought of Irish Soda Bread as a large scone, but you are right, it is! It is always so nice to have a day to make this each year, we enjoy it and then look forward to it again the next year...why is it that I never make this any other time throughout the year? Might have to go that whole scone scene and present it like that. Thanks for the idea.

kosh said...

I just made this this morning, thanks so much for the recipe. Fantastic.

Dena said...

Don't know why I don't make this more often. Shame on me. Thanks for the post!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Dana: I think that same thought every year when I make corned beef "WHY DON'T I MAKE THIS MORE OFTEN?!!!"