Culinary wizardry: Cookbook offers look into real foods in the Harry Potter series

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 8 2011 3:00 p.m. MST

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator. On a generously floured surface, roll out one of the disks very thin. Use a 41/2-inch cookie cutter to cut out circles. Fit the circles into a 6-cup muffin pan. Fill generously with the beef filling.

Roll out the second disk of dough. Use a 3 1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut out six circles. (You may have enough dough to cut out one more 4 1/2-inch circle and one more 3 1/2-inch circle to get one more pie. If that's the case, use a 12-cup muffin pan and fill the empty cups halfway with water.) Brush the rims with water, lay the circles over the filling, and press with your fingers to seal. Brush the tops of the pies with the beaten egg and cut slits in the top of each pie to form vents. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 20 minutes, until they are golden brown. Makes 6 or 7 pies.

— "The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook" by Dinah Bucholz

Irish Soda Bread

This easy-to-prepare bread, which requires no rise time and is a great project for kids to help make, is a nice accompaniment to the onion soup Mrs. Weasley serves Harry for a late-night supper in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter

1 large egg, beaten

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and grease and flour a 9-inch round baking dish.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it is completely rubbed in. The mixture will still be floury because of the much higher proportion of flour. With a wooden spoon, stir or fold in the egg and buttermilk until a dough begins to form. Turn the dough onto a flour-dusted work surface and knead briefly, just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a round and dust the top with the extra flour. Place the dough into the prepared pan and score an X about 1/2-inch deep on the top of the dough.

Bake for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake another 40 minutes until the bottom is dark golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Irish soda bread tastes best the day it is made, but makes the best toast ever after the first day. Serve with soup or stew. Makes 1 loaf.

— "The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook" by Dinah Bucholz