Irish Brown Bread

Irish Brown Bread

When I think of Saint Patrick’s Day one of the first things I think of is brown bread. I’ve had this recipe for years. I don’t remember who gave it to me, or where they got it, but it’s been a favorite of mine since I first tried it and everyone I have served it to has loved it as well. It’s a simple, no kneading, quick, has a fabulous texture and is perfect hot or cold rustic loaf of bread.

This is also the perfect bread to introduce whole wheat flour to someone that might not be a fan (or think they aren’t anyway) because the over all texture is so nice. If you’re looking for an easy brown bread, then look no further…You’ve found it!

If you’d like some ideas about other Saint Patrick’s Day type dishes then visit my Saint Patrick’s Day set on Flickr from 2007 when we were celebrating our trip to Ireland, which later was canceled when life got in the way, but we had fun with the feast none the less!

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Update 1/18/2017: I finally made it to Ireland in the summer of 20016. Sadly I did not have one bit of brown bread while I was there.

Now let’s get down to some brown bread!

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of whole wheat flour (Note: I like the King Arthur Flour version.)
1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 3/4 cups of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large glass bowl stir together flours, baking powder and salt until mixed. Add buttermilk and stir until dough forms. (Note: You may need slightly less than the amount of buttermilk listed above or slightly more. It all depends on humidity and such.)

Form dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. You don’t need to knead the dough, (isn’t that a mouthful! ;oP) just shape it and go.

Irish Brown Bread: Ready to Bake

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

Irish Brown Bread: Baked

Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: No notes for this one. It’s pretty straight forward!

Guinness Risotto With Goat Cheese And Thyme

Guinness Risotto With Goat Cheese And Thyme

What do you do with left over Guinness from Saint Patrick’s Day? Why get creative of course! Throw in a little goat cheese and a few veggies and you’ve got a risotto that is to die for!

What You’ll Need:
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small package of button mushrooms, sliced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 – 15 ounce package of Arborio rice
1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups of frozen green peas
1 – 11.2 ounce bottle of Guinness
Water (4-6 cups)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 – 5 ounce package of goat cheese, crumbled

Note: If you’ve never cooked risotto before, don’t be intimidated by this dish! It has an aura about it, but it’s really quite easy to make. Basically you just keep adding liquid. The liquid is almost absorbed and you keep adding more 1 or 2 cups at a time until the risotto is tender and ready to serve.

In a large pan saute onion and mushroom with sea salt, black pepper and thyme until veggies are tender. Add Arborio rice and let cook 1-2 minutes to slightly toast the grains. Stir in mixed veggies, peas and the bottle of Guinness. Cook until liquid mostly evaporates and then add 1-2 cups of water to cover grains. Cook again until liquid evaporates and keep repeating this step until risotto is fully cooked and tender. Once the risotto is fully cooked remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and goat cheese until smooth and melted. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Guinness Cake With Ganache And Cherries

Chocolate Guinness Cake With Ganache And Cherries

When we got Guinness for Saint Patrick’s Day cooking we had to buy a 6-pack since they wouldn’t let you buy just one. We’re not really stout drinkers (or beer either) so I still have 5 bottles in my fridge. My sister sent me a link to a Chocolate Stout Cake made by Smitten Kitchen and I thought it looked like something I might want to play with and I did just that. I tweaked the ingredients a little, added some cherries and voila…Yummy Chocolate Guinness goodness! Seriously this cake is scrumptious! You must try it!

Now I’ve got 4 bottles of Guinness left…I wonder what Guinness Hush Puppies or battered fish would taste like? And I also want to try Murphys Brown Bread and Guinness Ice Cream recipe, but I may just have to go try it in person too when we’re there in October/November. That takes care of two more bottles. Maybe I’ll just have to make a few of the recipes twice! 😉

What You’ll Need For The Cake:
1 cup of Guinness
2 sticks of butter
1 cup cocoa
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup of dark brown natural sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup of sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Melt Guinness, butter and cocoa over medium heat. Bring to a slow boil and cook until slightly thickened. Stir occasionally to ensure no scorching. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

In a large bowl mix flour, sugars, baking powder and sea salt and set aside.

In a small bowl beat together sour cream and eggs. Slowly add cooled chocolate mix to sour cream mixture stirring constantly to ensure that the eggs do not curdle and the mixture is mixed thoroughly. Add to flour mixture and stir until just mixed. Pour batter into a Bundt pan that has been sprayed well with non-stick spray. Bake for 35-45 minutes until toothpick inserted into cake come out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before turning cake out onto a large plate. Let cake cool completely.

What You’ll Need For the Ganache:
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of half and half
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar

Melt chocolate chips and sugar in half and half until smooth. Pour over the top of the cooled Chocolate Guinness Cake.

Chocolate Guinness Cake With Ganache

Note: I would have liked to have served fresh or frozen cherries with this cake, but for some reason I didn’t have any in the fridge or freezer, which is totally unlike me. I did however have a can of light cherry pie filling that was still in date, which was totally unlike me, though I don’t remember buying any, so I used that instead. If you wanted to make a cherry topping you could cook 2 cups of cherries with 1/4 cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons of water until the sugar melts and the mixture starts to thicken a bit. You could also top the cake with fresh whipped cream, but I didn’t have any of that on hand yesterday either. Not a stellar fridge or freezer day for me yesterday to say the least! 😉

Irish Cheese

Irish Cheese

Yesterday we also sampled some Irish cheeses. I’ve used the Kerrygold Irish butter for several years now on special occasions and it truly is one of the best butters I have ever tasted, but this is the first time I had seen their cheese selection. It turns out their cheese is just as good! (But I figured it would be!)

We had the Aged Cheddar, the Blarney Castle (which is similar to gouda) and the Dubliner which reminded me of Parmesan, only softer. These cheeses (and the butter too!) are available at my local Giant and I know the butter (but I’m not sure about the cheeses) is also sold at Whole Foods and Safeway.

Vegetarian Dingle Pies

Vegetarian Dingle Pie

This is an adapted version of a Dingle Pie. Dingle Pies normally have mutton or lamb in them, I don’t eat baby anything, so it wouldn’t have worked for me even then. So I decided to play around with it a little and come up with a vegetarian version. This is what I came up with! They were delicious! My sister and her husband both liked them, and my nephew did too!

What You’ll Need For The Crust:
2 1/4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
9 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of ice water

Process flour and salt in a food processor to mix. Add butter and process until butter is crumbly. Add water and let crumbly dough form. Pour out onto a floured surface and form into a dough ball. Place in the refrigerator wrapped until filling is ready.

Note: If you don’t have a food processor you can make the dough with a pastry cutter or fork. Simply mix flour and salt and then cut in butter until crumbly. Then stir in water until dough forms.

Vegetarian Dingle Pie: The Inside

What You’ll Need For The Filling:
1 small potato cut into small cubes
1 carrot grated
4 large or 6 small button mushrooms chopped
1/4 of an onion, chopped
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place cut veggies in a glass microwave safe bowl and microwave for 3-6 minutes or until tender. Remove from microwave and season with sea salt and pepper.

Cut pie dough into fourths and roll out flat. Cut circles with a biscuit cutter and place a spoonful of filling in the center of each circle. Top with another circle and crimp edges with a fork. Once you have used all of your dough and filling poke each pie a couple of times with a fork to vent. Brush the top of each pie with a beaten egg and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Vegetarian Dingle Pie

Mini Caramel Irish Cream Cheesecakes

Caramel Irish Cream Mini Cheesecake

When I sent Jamison to get me a bottle of Irish Cream on Friday he called me with the wonderful news that there was a Bailey’s Irish Cream with a hint of caramel flavor. I hadn’t bought any Irish Cream in years and given I love both caramel and Irish Cream, I just had to try the new Bailey’s!

It’s delicious to drink (every good cook worth their salt knows that tasting is essential to the final product! 😉 ) and it made a scrumptious cheesecake to boot! That’s win win as far as I’m concerned!

Irish Spirits

What You’ll Need For The Crust:
3/4 of a sleeve of chocolate graham crackers
1/2 a stick of butter melted
1/4 a cup of sugar

Crush graham crackers. (I use my food processor.)

Stir in butter and sugar.

Line a muffin pan with muffin liners (14-15) and place crust in the bottom of each liner and press firmly into place. Set aside.

What You’ll Need For The Cheesecake:
2 – 8 ounce packages of light cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream with a hint of caramel (or just plain Bailey’s…It’s completely up to you)
1/2 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
Shaved chocolate (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Cream together cream cheese, eggs, ricotta, sugar and Bailey’s.

Add flour and mix until just blended.

Fill each muffin liner 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheesecake are set.

Once cooled top with shaved chocolate and homemade whipped cream if desired. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes 14-15 mini cheesecakes.

Kerry Apple Cake With Caramel Irish Cream Sauce And Whipped Cream

Kerry Apple Cake With Caramel Irish Cream Sauce And Whipped Cream

Here is another one of the Irish recipes I made to try yesterday. The cake itself is an Irish recipe I found a while back (with a few tweaks as always! ;o)) and I came up with the sauce myself. The cake is good warm or cooled and it has a wonderful cinnamon kick!

What You’ll Need For The Cake:
1 and 3/4 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of organic cane sugar
4 eggs
The zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
2 apples, chopped into small cubes

Kerry Apple Cake

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and lemon zest until creamy. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add flour and stir until just mixed. Stir in apples and mix until incorporated throughout the batter.

Pour into a Bundt pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until cake is golden brown and sticks clean with a toothpick.

Turn cake out onto a plate as soon as you bring it out of the oven.

Let cool or eat warm, it’s good either way!

Kerry Apple Cake

What You’ll Need For The Sauce:
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons of natural brown sugar
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream with a hint of caramel (or regular Bailey’s is fine too!)

In a medium sauce pan add ingredients and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes and let cool before serving.

Drizzle over each slice of cake and top with whipped cream.

Irish Apple Duff

Irish Apple Duff

This was a recipe I found 10+ years ago. I was either living in Huntsville, Alabama or Knoxville, Tennessee at the time. I had never tried it, though it sat in my recipe box all that time and I came across it from time to time when I was searching for other recipes and I would look at it fondly. When I decided to do the Saint Patrick’s Day feast I decided it was time to pull it out of the box! I don’t remember were it originated, but the end product was delicious, tweaks and all! It’s very reminiscent of an American apple dumpling in ways, but different too, and most importantly, oh so delicious!

What You’ll Need:
1 package of puff pastry, thawed
4 Golden Delicious apples (or apples of your choice)
Natural brown sugar
Raisins
1 egg, beaten
Organic cane sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Take both puff pastry sheets and cut them in half across the middle giving you 4 pieces of puff pastry.

Core apples and place an apple in the middle of each piece of puff pastry. Push puff pastry up around the edges of the apple about halfway up each apple.

Place about 2 teaspoons of brown sugar in the bottom of each apple core hole. Top with raisins leaving about a cm opening at the top of the core hole.

Top with more brown sugar and pack tight. (It’s probably about 1 tablespoon total for each apple bottom and top. It isn’t much in the grand scheme of things. The apple does most of the sweetening.)

Brush the outside of the puff pastry with an egg wash and dust with sugar. The pastry will slide down as it bakes, so don’t be alarmed.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until apple is soft and pastry is golden brown.

Serve plain or with whipped cream.

Note: If you wanted to use 2 packages of puff pastry, you could completely cover each apple in a bundle. It would take roughly one sheet to entirely enclose an apple and it would be good that way too!

Beef with Guinness

Beef With Guinness

This dish was an attempt to please the meat eaters in the family, since the rest of the dishes (except for the Dublin Lawyer) were meat free. Although I can’t vouch for how this actually tasted given I don’t eat beef, Katherine and Ben seemed to like it added to the Vegetarian Irish Stew.

What You’ll Need:
Extra virgin olive oil
Roughly 2 pounds of stew meat
1/2 a bottle of Guinness
2 tablespoons of flour
A little more Guinness (about 1/4-1/2 cup) to smooth the flour

In a medium pan brown meat in olive oil. Once browned pour in the first batch of Guinness. In a small bowl mix flour and more Guinness until smooth with no lumps and add to the pot. Stir to mix and simmer for at least two hours, until tender.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

I’ve always loved Irish Soda Bread and have made it several times over the years. This recipe is adapted from The Little Irish Baking Book by Ruth Isabel Ross. It’s warm, hearty and oh so good!

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
6 cups of whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons of baking soda
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 quart of buttermilk

Irish Soda Bread

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Mix all ingredients in a very large bowl until dough forms. Divide dough and shape into two large or 4 small round loaves. Cut an X on the top of each loaf and bake for 40 minutes to an hour, until bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped.

Note: Smaller loaves will take less time. Check them 30 minutes into the baking process and keep an eye on them from there if they aren’t done yet. They brown quickly, but the inside takes longer to bake.