Mangia Mondays:: Irish Bread, The Right Way

Happy Mangia Monday my friends!  Can you believe we’ve enjoyed a whole year of Mangia Monday madness???  Time flies, doesn’t it?

How was your weekend??  Yesterday my daughter and her Girl Scout troop represented Sri Lanka at International Day, a yearly event for which each troop learns about a country.  It just so happens that my brother-in-law is marrying a woman from Sri Lanka in 6 weeks, so it was especially fun for Hannah to learn about this country, dress in a modified sari, bindi (the dot between the eyes), bells and jewelry and perform a Sri Lankan dance in front of 30 or so other troops.  They did such a great job!

All the girls, from kindergarteners on up to our 6th graders, looked SO cute dressed in their country’s traditional attire!  A lot of the troops also sold food that originated in the country they represented and it was great to see kids being adventurous and trying foods from around the world:  blinis from the Russian troop, waffles from Belgium, pizza from Italy, hummus from Israel, samosas made by Hannah’s troop representing Sri Lanka, and of course raisin bread from Ireland.

It struck me how every ethnic group has a particular food that is associated with it, of which each family within that ethnicity claims to have the best recipe for.  For my husband’s Italian family and Italians throughout the world:  red sauce.  Brazilians:  flan.  For my family, Irish Bread.  Also known as soda bread or raisin bread, it’s a staple in Irish households everywhere.  I could do a blind taste test of 20 Irish breads and know which one was my Auntie Julie’s, Aunt Maunie’s or my Mum’s.

Just so happens that my Mum’s Irish bread is and I’m not just saying that because she’s from Killagoola, Moycullen, County Galway, Ireland, and because in Killagoola they don’t put icky caraway seeds in the Irish bread and because the bread’s not too sweet, not too bland and because Mum doesn’t use measuring cups or spoons ever but yet it always comes out perfectly.  I’m telling you it’s the best because I love you and you have to experience it fresh out of the oven with a little butter and a cup of tea.  Maybe a smidgen of strawberry jam.  Let’s use the upcoming St. Paddy’s Day as an excuse!

I shared this recipe two years ago when my blog was brand new and it definitely deserves an encore!

Killagoola Irish Bread
2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 sugar
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 c sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a loaf pan.
Mix and aerate flour, baking powder and sugar. Add raisins to dry mix until thoroughly covered. Add oil and mix until moistened. Add the sour cream, milk and egg and blend only until combined.  Do not overmix or your bread will be tough.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown and tester inserted into middle of loaf comes out clean.  (All ovens are different; test at 45 minutes and don’t overbake or your Irish bread will be dry.)

Why don’t you share a recipe with us today?  My co-host, the beautiful Kristin of Delightfully Dowling fame, and I both love seeing what you all are cooking up or eating out!  (PS be sure to visit Kristin to check out her recipes and her Mangia Mondays anniversary giveaway!)