To round out your St. Patrick’s Day meal, enjoy a hearty loaf of Monk’s Irish Soda Bread, using this recipe provided by Chef Jenny Lewis. Chef Jenny is a baking and pastry instructor at Washburne Culinary Institute in Chicago and the author of “Midwest Sweet Baking History: Delectable Classics around Lake Michigan” (History Press Publisher, 2011).
Chef Jenny received the recipe from a Dominican monk for St. Patrick’s Day. She says this recipe, which uses sour cream and buttermilk, as well as caraway seeds and raisins, is “close to her culinary heart.” The traditional purpose of the cross that is scored on top of the bread, she says, was to “ward off the devil and protect the household.”
Monk’s Irish Soda Bread
(Recipe provided by Chef Jenny Lewis, Washburne Culinary Institute)
Yield: 1 small loaf
1 ¾ cup All Purpose Flour
1/8 cup Sugar
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ teaspoon Salt
½ cup Unsalted Butter
½ cup Sour Cream
1 cup Dark or Golden Raisins
½ cup Buttermilk
1 large Egg
1 Tablespoon Caraway Seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. with rack in center of oven. Spray cast iron skillet with non-stick spray.
2. In mixer with paddle attachment blend flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add cubed butter, sour cream and egg. Mix until crumbly and coarse in texture.
3. Add raisins, buttermilk and caraway seeds. Mix until sticky dough forms.
4. Remove from mixer and form a firm round ball, scoring the top with a cross approximately 1/3” deep.
5. Place dough in skillet or sheet pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
6. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cover with foil and continue to bake if bread darkens before center is baked.