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Irish Soda Scones

March 14, 2012

In a few days time it will be St. Patrick’s day.  I thought I would contribute something a little different this year.  Instead of making something green, just as everyone always does, I thought that sharing a traditional Irish recipe would be a more fashionable approach.  I may or may not have something green for you at a later date 🙂

Irish soda scones are actually a knock off of Irish soda bread.  In fact, you could make this into Irish soda bread by simply changing the shape of your dough.  I wanted to try something different so I opted for the Irish soda scones.  Soda Bread has been a specialty of Ireland for a great many years. As the name implies, ‘soda’ bread gets its rise, not from yeast, but from ‘baking soda’.   Soda Bread is classed as a quick bread and in its most basic form contains only four ingredients, baking soda, flour  salt, and buttermilk.  The reason baking soda is used instead of yeast is because of the Ireland’s climate. The influence of the Gulf Stream prevents Ireland from getting really hot in the summer or really cold in the winter. Because of this, “hard wheats”, which require such variations of temperatures, don’t do very well there.  However, “soft wheats” do grow well there.  Due to this, the average Irish householder of the past two centuries, chose to bypass yeast for their everyday baking and instead relied on the quick rise of the baking soda.  Very innovative.

When working with baking soda it is important to remember that it activates as soon as it gets wet, so have a quick light hand when making soda scones and get them into the hot oven as soon as possible.

Irish Soda Scones

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

To Prepare the Scones

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Place the oven rack in the center.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add most of the buttermilk. Using one hand, mix (adding more buttermilk if necessary) until you have a soft, moist dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough into a 7 – 8 inch round. Cut this circle into 6 triangular sections. Place the scones on your prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with a little extra buttermilk and then dust with a little flour. This gives the baked scones a wonderful floury brown crust.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean. Test by tapping the bottom of a scone – it should sound hollow. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Makes 6 large scones
Sources Joy of Baking
European Cuisines

If you are looking for something a wee bit different this year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day I suggest you try these Irish soda scones they really are delicious.  These scones are best served warm from the oven with a little butter and jam.

From our kitchen to yours,
Sydney Jones

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2012 1:40 pm

    This seems like something I can make because I have an inexplicable fear of yeast!! Plus they look sooo delicious!

  2. March 14, 2012 1:48 pm

    Thank Tia, they are incredibly easy. You should not give up on yeast though, it is a wonderful world you are missing out on 🙂 I had the same fear of yeast for years but I forced myself to get over it and try it again and I haven’t looked back since. You can do the same 🙂

  3. March 14, 2012 2:41 pm

    Your scones would be perfect for St. Patrick’s day. I loved the your previous scone recipe as well.

  4. March 15, 2012 1:34 pm

    Another good scone recipe! Oh, you spoil us, lassie, you do!

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