Irish Soda Bread Scones
I’m not particularly big on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, but I do usually like to make something ethnic on March 17th, so when I saw a variation of Irish Soda Bread in the form of scones floating around the Internet, I knew I had my recipe for this year. I’ve been on quite a scone tear lately, and this savory scone is a great one to store in my “must keep” recipe bank. I do tend to enjoy the savory scones over sweet ones, I think because I can justify them as a meal. In this case, the raisins (I used golden raisins because I had them) and caraway seeds add great contrasting flavor.
Am I the only one who feels that caraway seeds and that rye flavor is an acquired taste? When I was a kid I absolutely despised rye bread and refused to eat it or anything that may have come in contact with it. Just the faint smell of it would send me into a tizzy. But now, I adore it. I have a newfound love for rye bread and especially enjoy reubens and corned beef sandwiches. This was the first time I tasted caraway seeds in something other than rye bread, and I think they are fantastic here. I feel like such a grown up, finally enjoying the flavor of rye bread!
Like all scones that I have talked about before, you can makes these in no time and with hardly any equipment or tools. They bake up quickly and are fantastic warm from the oven. They have a hint of Irish Soda Bread flavor, but with the flakiness of a scone and the delicious flavor of the dried fruit and caraway. I know that St. Patrick’s Day is over, but these would be a splendid treat for any breakfast, brunch or tea that you may be hosting. Or just treat yourself to an extra-special breakfast!
Irish Soda Scones
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup raisins
1 Tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
2 Tablespoons butter, melted (for brushing)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and position rack in upper-middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (or lightly grease).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Work the softened butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or a fork or your hands until the flour mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Add the buttermilk, egg, raisins and caraway seeds and stir with a fork just until the dough begins to come together. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead gently just until the dough is cohesive. It should be bumpy - overworking it will cause the resulting scones to be tough instead of tender and flaky.
4. Divide the dough evenly into 8 pieces and pat each into a round shape. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross shape into the top of each scone. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F. The scones should be golden brown and a thin knife or skewer should come out clean. Remove from the oven and immediately brush with the melted butter. Allow to cool to room temperature.