Soda Bread has
been a specialty of Ireland for well over a century. As its name implies, 'soda'
bread gets its rise, not from yeast, but from 'baking soda' (bicarbonate of soda).
Soda Bread is classified as a quick bread and in its most basic form contains
only four ingredients, baking soda, flour (all purpose and/or whole wheat), salt, and buttermilk (or
soured milk). When raisins (currants or sultanas) and a little sugar are
added to the dough, its name changes from Soda Bread to Spotted Dick or Spotted Dog.
For this recipe I have
decided to make Irish Soda Scones instead of a usual round of bread. You can use all white flour, all brown flour, or a combination of the two
The important thing to remember when making soda scones is to have a quick light
hand because baking soda starts to react as soon as it becomes wet. So try
the scones into the hot oven as soon as possible. Irish Soda Scones contain
buttermilk which has a nice thick creamy texture with a rich
tangy buttery taste that makes these scones nice and tender.
Whereas in the past it was the liquid left over after churning butter it is now
commercially made by adding a bacteria to whole, skim, or low fat milk. You can make your own buttermilk by
adding 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice to
1 cup of milk. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before using.
The Irish Soda Scones
are baked in a hot oven and this produces a scone with a hard and crusty
outer crust yet inside they have a nice tender crumb. These are wonderful
with butter and jam or they also make a great accompaniment to soups and
Scones: Preheat oven to
degrees F (220 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking
sheet with parchment paper.
In a large
bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the
center of the flour mixture and add most of the buttermilk. Using one
hand, or a wooden spoon, mix (adding more buttermilk if necessary) until you
have a soft, moist dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and
dough into a 7 - 8 inch (18 - 23 cm) 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.
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. These scones are best
served warm from the oven with a little butter and jam.
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