About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Irish White Soda Scones

I've dreamed of attending Ballymaloe Cooking School in Ireland for years.  I've been charmed by Ireland and found the food outstanding, some of the freshest and best I've ever tasted.  I've published Brown Irish Soda Bread and Colcannon previously in honor of St. Patrick's Day so I have searched the Ballymaloe Cookbook for something new and simple.  I settled on these delicious scones for breakfast or tea.  They are a quick bread relying on baking soda as the leavening agent and it's reaction with buttermilk to form lactic acid, best served warm the day they are made.  Soda bread only takes minutes to make and has endless variations.  So add dried fruit or herbs if that suites you but be sure to serve with lots of rich Irish butter.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 cup buttermilk

Sift the dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center.  Pour in all of the buttermilk at once.  Using one hand, with your fingers stiff and outstretched like a claw, stir in a full circular movement from the center to the outside of the bowl in ever-increasing circles.   The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky.  When it all comes together, turn it out onto a well-floured work surface.   Roll the dough out to 1 inch  and cut with a biscuit cutter or a knife.  Re-roll the excess and cut more.  Makes a dozen 2 inch scones. Bake 15-20 minutes until tops are golden.  Serve warm with butter and jam.

Just a note.  This dough can be shaped onto a single round loaf, cutting a deep cross in the middle and pricking the edges to""let the fairies out".  The Irish are a superstitious lot and in ancient times they couldn't understand the rise of the bread and assumed it was due to mischievous spirits or "fairies".  Their bread was marked with the cross to exorcise the mischief makers and make their humble bread safe to consume.

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