Monday, March 16, 2009

A Breadtime Story for St. Patrick's Day

"St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time -
a day to begin transforming winter's dreams
into summer's magic
~Adrienne Cook

Bread and stories go together...more so if you have a drop of Irish blood. And if you don't have Irish blood, try a little Guinness or Murphy's Stout.

On the eve of St. Patrick's, I cracked open a Guinness and made Irish bread and whispered Irish blessings.

What to do with the leftover Guinness?

Drink it, lass. Drink it.

Guinness Bread
  • Guinness Bread mix (
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup black treacle or dark molasses
  • 1/2 c Guinness
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)

Mix ingredients for two minutes. Fold into a greased, floured loaf pan. Bake in a 350 oven for 50-60 minutes. cool.

A word to the I assembled the ingredients, I began to worry about the treacle.

When I opened the can, my suspicions were confirmed. I hadn't bought dark treacle, which is a syrup; I'd bought a sponge cake with treacle. What to do? Find regular syrup and hope for the best.

[Story Digression: As soon as I started mixing, I heard frantic baaaaing and ran to the window. A goat had gotten stuck in the fence. Young Bandwith offered to rescue the goat, saying, "You're too busy to help--you're making Guinness bread."

He's been looking forward to it for days. (The goat is fine, by the way.)

Back to the bread story...]

I used the KitchenAid bowl, but mixed by hand--a great 2-minute workout.

I'm not sure why the surface cracked...maybe someone can explain. However, it smelled divine, so I decided a bit of embellishing was in order.

"For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way -
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day
~Author Unknown

What happened to the Guinness? It's hiding in the clover. Bandwith says that shamrocks are infused into this beer, and maybe something else, too, a bit of levity, and luck.

Have a great St. Patrick's Day!

For a fascinating article on friendship and blogging, check out this article at
Bargain Hunting with Laurie, by our own Laurie. It's a must read for anyone with a computer.


  1. Hello Gollum and Happy St. Pat's Day!

    Ummm...your Irish bread looks scrumptious! I've never heard of Guinness bread mix...thanks for including the link!

    I love your presentation...the pretty clover and I like the little cracks in the top pretty!!!

    Warmest wishes,

  2. A lovely post & beautiful Irish bread! How did the Treacle taste & how's the goat doing?

    Happy St Paddy's Day to you! ☺ Diane

  3. Morning, Dear Gollum. I'm up before 4 am! I can't sleep! I guess I'm very green (winks) about St. Patrick's Day food - I've never heard of this bread before. But it looks beautiful as well as all you other photos!
    Be a green sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  4. Happy St. Pat's Day Gollum! Your bread looks mighty good & I hope it is full of Irish blessings...
    ;-) Bo

  5. Cute story! My hubby loves Guiness, so I'm going to have to make this bread for him.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  6. Happy St. Patty's Day to you! The bread looks delicious.

    Have a great day, Denise

  7. The bread sound tasty but the your shamrocks are GLORIOUS!!! Thank you! Cathy



    Your Soda Bread looks yummy, I love the Shamrocks. Happy to hear that the little goat is okay, guess it smelled your baking and wanted to try some for itself. Have a great day.


  9. Happy St. Pat's to you, too. Although the bread looks good I prefer my Guinness in a glass! Don't you love the shamrocks?

  10. Lovely story with lovely pictures. Happy St. Patrick's Day! :D Jewel

  11. That looks so fabulous!! Now I need to go out and get a Guinness to make this!! I might be able to force myself to taste the rest.... Guinness is so good!! :) Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

  12. Beer bread at its finest! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  13. Happy St. Paddy's, that bread looks wonderful. Pam

  14. Happy St Partick's Day Gollum.
    The bread looks delicious.
    Glad the goat is ok; it doesn't take much for them to get into
    trouble. Our friends have them on their farma and they are always getting stuck.

  15. Top o' the Mornin' to ya, Gollum! I'm always impressed with how you can make a recipe work for you.

  16. beautiful photos and story, when i was in england the last couple years in cornwall they serve treakle pudding, which is actually a cake with trekle in it. yummy, and sad i miss england, please visit our blog, Happy st pattys to you,
    thanks again

  17. Happy St. Patrick's Day, Gollum!

    Your photographs of that bread, the beer, and the green are just wonderful. They have such a painterly quality, and I love that about them. They tell a story in and of themselves.

    Here's wishin' the following for ye:

    A wish for no more of your goats geting stuck,

    A wish that you have more than your share of luck,

    A wish that you always have good natured pluck,

    And a wish that the Guinness won't land you in muck! (have a couple for me first!) ;-)

    Happy St. Patrick's Day, oh ye of the china!


    Sheila :-)

  18. what a beautiful post! i so love your pics, they tell such wonderful stories~ love spying you at ts/fg, it always makes me smile.

  19. Oh Gollum that bread looks delicious.How dod it taste?I'll bet fabulous.How do you know so much about EVERYTHING?Happy St.Patty's Day.I hope your wee son has a good fill of the bread...ann

  20. Thank you, dear gollum .... for your posts always bring a smile to my face. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and family.

  21. GORGEOUS pictures!!!!

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind always be at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    and rains fall soft upon your fields.
    And until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
    Happy St Patrick's Day! ~ Susan

  22. Lovely post, you are a clever and talented girl and I always enjoy visiting.

    Today I have in my hands two of your books and at naptime I am cuddling in to start one of them... I am so excited.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day
    from Raggedy Girl/Roberta Anne

  23. I'm guessing the goat wanted some Guinness bread too ;) It looks fabulous!

  24. I'll have to tell my son about the bread. He's into baking bread these days and loves Guiness. Happy St. Patrick's Day! Nancy

  25. ***** NOBODY does it BETTER! ***** And, the greeeeens are sooooo absolutely beauuuuutiful!!!! A TOAST TO YOU, dear friend!!! Love & many hugs, Linda (and "crew"!)

  26. Well - I am not exactly Irish..but I was born on today's date - so does that count for something?

    What a beautiful post!!!

  27. Beautiful photos!! I don't drink beer, but your photos make it look mighting tempting! The bread looks good even with the cracks. Gives it character!!!

  28. That looks too pretty to eat! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  29. I can smell that bread from here - wonderful. Now, I'm hungry for carbs! Sally

  30. Gorgeous, Darling!

    I adore this presentation ~ and I was so surprised to see the can of Treacle!! I was expecting syrup, too ~ I had no idea Heinz offered up such a cake/bread in a can.

    Your photos are lovely and have really put me in the St. Patrick Day spirit. xo~m.

  31. Mmm... it looks so good and easy to make! So? How does it TASTE? That's what we all really want to know.
    Glad the baa baa is okay!
    And geez woman, your pictures are INCREDIBLE.

    Justine:o )

  32. Mari, I have big plans for that treacle cake. LOL Next time I make this bread, I will use dark sorgham and see what happens.

    Justine, you're going to be sorry you asked. Oh, yes, the cake is tasty. If I'd added raisins (or green candied fruit, as with the other soda bread), it would have been a sweet, breakfast bread. Drizzled with icing and smothered with berries, it could be a dessert, maybe even the "base" for a strawberry shortcake, because the texture would hold up to the liquid.

    Without the raisins, it has a hint of sweetness, yet it's still savory. Nicely balanced. I have two more bags of mix, and I'd like to throw in shredded zucchini and see what happens, and maybe cheese.

  33. I like the cracks in the bread. It gives it character, like wrinkles (or so I tell myself :)) Love the picture collage! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  34. Is there ever a dull moment at your house? I don't know how you ever write with all of the "goings on" at your house! I'm going to join others who say they like the cracks in the bread. Me too! If nothing else, it proves that imperfect can be good too (it must have been good, since your last pic shows it's almost gone!). I'll have to go chek out this mix. Thanks so much for the link. I really do hope everyone will take care of this. laurie

  35. Wow, that was my first "Breadtime Story"! So fun and creative you are! Your bread looks delish and I love cracked tops. The shamrock plant used as a garnish is especially festive too! A beautiful post from beginning to end!

  36. The bread sure looks scrumptious! Happy St. Patrick's Day, Gollum!...Christine

  37. Hey Gollum, I arrived back just in time to wish you a happy St Patrick's day. I was looking at that tin of treacle sponge pudding and thinking why is Gollum adding Spong Pudding to her Guinness Bread recipe haha, Your Gunness Bread does look delicious though and wait till you taste the treacle sponge pudding yummy with Ambrosia Devon custard. Heinz do a chocolate sponge pudding too). I had scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam on the flight back :-). Loved your tour of Irish homes and your photos here and loved the story of the Irish pub, young bandwith and the Irish men vouching for him, truly the most friendly place on earth don't you think?. glad the goat is okay and I am now counting the days till our Tudor fix, hugs, Kathy.

  38. Gollum,
    Happy St.Patrick's Day!!! What a incredible post. I LOVE IT ALL!!!
    You are one amazing lady and when I grow up I want to be just like you.
    Have a wonderful evening,

  39. Great story and post!! Even the excitement of the goat - lol

  40. Great post, Michael..The bread looks excellent...Thanks for coming to my party too!

  41. An absolutely AMAZING post, dear one. Just beautiful. I know that bread was just to die for. I don't even know about those ingredients used...doubt if I could even find them in our United Supermarket...
    All your photos ....just magnificent..
    I did read that blog you mentioned earlier good and so something to think about. My daughter knows how to post on my blog so she will take care of it for me in an emergency...she has...several time.
    Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you!

  42. My goodness this looks delicious. Cracks and all. Smiles! ;)

  43. The food photos you share are just delightful! I love seeing them! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  44. Happy belated St. Patrick's day. What a delicious post. The shamrocks rock ~

  45. Beautiful post my friend. That bread looks so yummy. I've missed you too much!

  46. This looks sooo yummy! I'm trying not to eat after 8 at night, but now I'm craving bread! Love your pics and the collage! Susan

  47. Gollum~ ~ ~Where on earth did you get those lovely candle holders with the drippy crystals? Great aren't they?
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~