Let me begin by saying de gustibus non disputandum est —in matters of taste there can be no dispute. However, I am puzzled by the way the Irish make their burgers.
The beef in this country is the freshest, most delicious I have ever tasted in my life. [apologies vegetarians] When I cook it at home I always marvel at the difference between this beef and the offering in the States. It is light years better. Despite this superior quality meat, I have been regularly surprised by the Irish burger. Every restaurant, with the exception of fast food establishments, makes their burgers with fillings. As in, bread crumbs, egg, seasonings and possibly other ingredients like chopped onion or chilies. To me this is meatloaf or a meatball like you would make to go with spaghetti, not a burger!
I was confused when a friend asked me what I put in my burgers. “What do you mean?” I said. “Nothing! A little salt and freshly ground pepper on the outside and then throw it on the grill!“ I have even seen my friends post social media pics of their ‘burger recipes’. Photos of a bunch of stuff going into the food processor that will be added to the ground beef [beef mince as its called here] and then fried or grilled on the barbecue. And it looks like a huge production for what should be the simplest and most tasty of sandwiches. Pinterest, I discovered, is loaded with ‘burger recipes’. This is astonishing! What’s my burger recipe? Meat. End of story.
Maybe I am the oddball… maybe its just a regional Pennsylvania thing? I doubt it though. I can’t remember ever having a meatloaf style burger in a restaurant outside Ireland. However, as I said in the beginning, tastes are personal. So if that’s how you like your burgers Ireland, who am I to complain? I’ll just have to remember when I go a restaurant, that what I get on the bun is not going to be what I am accustomed to. Or, you know, just order the fish and chips!
Do not laugh. Ok, you can laugh… I have started another blog to feature some of my own recipe concoctions. I am not really trying to become a food blogger, but I wanted to organize my stuff in one place. This is borne of not being able to adequately utilize Pinterest, if you want to know the truth. I might be a Pinterest idiot but I can’t find a way to save your own stuff there without providing a link to an outside website. As I was fuming over it, I thought about doing the side blog and sort of connecting it to my book: Breaking Bread. So with that in mind I have created …
I haven’t put any recipes up yet, but I’ll get started soon. If you join me over there, I’d be delighted, but if you don’t, I won’t be offended.
To accompany my novel in progress: Breaking Bread, welcome to Le Boulangerie.
I realized after I baked this bread and started preparing this post, that cinnamon bread is more of a mid winter, even holiday-esque kind of bread and here we are at the start of spring. Nevertheless, in my neck of the woods, we had our first real snowfall of any significance last week and the cold returned with a vengeance. Which put me in the mood for this comforting bit of goodness. And while this seems like a decadent loaf, the cinnamon has a positive effect on one’s blood sugar so don’t feel too bad in your indulgence!
Cinnamon Swirl Bread:
For the dough:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- In the stand mixer, combine all dough ingredients with the dough hook attachment.
- After a smooth dough forms, allow to rise in the bowl, covered with a towel, for an hour and a half.
- After rising is complete, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll (with a pin) into a rectangle 18×24″.
- Mix together filling ingredients and spread onto the sheet of dough, leaving a one inch border all around.
- Starting with the short end, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the ends closed and fit it, seam side down into a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bread pan.
- Cover pan and allow bread to rise for about 2 hours (or until the loaf crowns just above the rim of the pan).
- Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil about halfway through the bake time.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack before slicing.