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Irish Soda Scones Recipe & Video

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Soda Bread, as its name implies, 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. 

Irish Soda Scones have a golden brown crust that is wonderfully crisp. Inside they are nice and soft. For this recipe I have decided to make Scones instead of the usual round of bread. You can use All Purpose White Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, or a combination of the two flours. Irish Soda Scones contain buttermilk which has a nice thick creamy texture with a rich and tangy buttery taste that makes these scones nice and tender. Whereas in the past buttermilk 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 a good substitute for commercial buttermilk by adding 1 1/2 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice to 1 1/2 cups (360 ml/grams) of milk. Let stand about 10 minutes at room temperature 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 soft and tender crumb. However, when covered and stored overnight the crust will soften. Scones make a great accompaniment to soups and stews or for breakfast eaten with butter and jam.

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Irish Soda Scones: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar (if using), baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add most of the buttermilk. Using one hand, a wooden spoon or spatula, mix (adding more buttermilk if necessary) until you have a soft and moist dough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough into a 7 inch (18 cm) round. Cut this circle into 6 triangular sections. Place the scones on your prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with a little buttermilk or milk and then dust with a little flour. This gives the baked scones a floury brown crust.

Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. These scones are best served warm from the oven with a little butter and jam.

Makes 6 large scones.

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Irish Soda Scones:

3 cups (390 grams) All-Purpose Flour or Whole Wheat Flour (or a mixture of Whole Wheat Flour and All Purpose Flour)

1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar (optional)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) salt

1 1/2 cups (360 ml/grams) cold buttermilk

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