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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Irish Soda Bread Scones

Irish Soda Bread Scones
You know you've made something beyond good when you want to smack your own ass as you walk by. These scones are one of those things. Tall, tender, lightly sweet and studded with currants and flecks of caraway seeds. I haven't even mentioned the thin, crackly sugar shell that tops them off. I've already made them three times in the last week.

These came about when I was pondering the fact (sort of) that I don't have many Irish or Irish-inspired recipes on my blog. And I happen to love Ireland. It was the site of my first-ever airplane landing, and a person never forgets the site outside the window as you descend into Dublin—a patchwork quilt of every shade of green imaginable. It will forever be a part of me.

So, I decided it was time to work on beefing up my Irish repertoire. I mean, I didn't even have a simple loaf of soda bread to demonstrate my affection. I still don't...but I do have some tall, tender scones inspired by Irish soda bread to share today! If you have a soft spot in your heart for that beautifully craggly and rustic quick bread, you'll enjoy these currant studded, caraway seed flecked treats.

Irish Soda Bread Scones
Conversely, if you've never really liked the plainness of soda bread, these scones could help you change your mind. While they echo the rustic charm and substantial nature of traditional soda bread, these scones are faintly sweet, and and make the perfect accompaniment to morning coffee or afternoon tea.

Irish Soda Bread Scones
The classic ingredients of Irish Soda Bread turned into a lightly sweetened, tender scone.
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Irish Soda Bread Scones
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12-14 minutes
Keywords: bake bread breakfast vegetarian soy-free nut-free St Patricks Day

Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into smallish cubes
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons currants
  • 3 tablespoons sugar + more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk + more to brush on top
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 large egg
Preheat oven to 425° F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda and powder, and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture, squeezing and pinching until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with chunks no bigger than the size of a pea. Whisk in the currants, sugar, and caraway seeds.

Pour the 1/2 cup of buttermilk, molasses, and egg in a small dish and beat with a fork. Pour this into the flour mixture and combine gently. The dough will look pretty dry and shaggy. Turn out onto work surface and quickly pull the dough together into a rough mass. Press and knead until it just comes together. To keep the scones tender, try to do this in as few kneads as possible...preferably no more than 12. Don't worry about the excess flour, not all of it will be absorbed.
scone dough
Pat into a rough circle, ~1-inch thick and cut into 6 wedges. Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

Pour a splash of buttermilk in a bowl and lightly brush the top of the scones, then sprinkle with a dusting of sugar. Slide into preheated oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
Irish Soda Bread Scones

More Irish (or Irish-inspired) food and drink:
Brown Bread inspired by Malt House Restaurant
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
Irish Cabbage and Bacon Soup w/ Blarney Castle Sourdough Toasts
Irish Champ
Irish Coffee