These traditional Irish soda bread scones are easy to make and full of flavor. Serve warm with a dollop of butter and your favorite jam.
Irish soda bread scones are a delightful twist on traditional Irish soda bread. They have a hearty yet tender texture and a slightly tangy taste from the buttermilk. You’ll also enjoy the dried fruit scattered throughout. They make each bite all the better. With their rustic appearance and delicious flavor, Irish soda bread scones are a must-try for any bread lover.
Why You’ll Love These Irish Soda Bread Scones
- Soft texture – These are softer than your average scones. The exterior has some crispness, but the inside is tender, much like Irish soda bread.
- Balanced flavor – Irish soda bread scones are a little sweet, a little savory, and so GOOD! The sea salt with sugar and dried fruits keeps them perfectly balanced.
- Done in less than an hour – Seriously! Most scone recipes take an hour, but Irish soda bread scones take 40 minutes from start to finish. They’re pretty easy whether you’re a seasoned scone baker or a newbie.
- Fresh scones straight out of the oven – When do you have the chance to enjoy a scone fresh out of the oven? It’s a rare occasion unless you make them at home and you can taste the difference. Texture and flavor really are at their peak.
- St. Patrick’s Day Twist – Irish Soda Bread is a perfect treat on St Patrick’s day and soda scones are a unique twist on this traditional bread.
Irish Soda Bread Scones Ingredients Notes
To make Irish soda bread scones, you need:
- Butter: Unlike other scone recipes that call for cold butter to be cut into flour, this soda scone recipe uses melted butter. This helps hydrate the dough and makes it easy to distribute the butter evenly.
- Flour: Using all-purpose flour to make Irish soda bread scones is essential. Bread flour and wholemeal flour contain far too much protein. Flour with too much protein will make scones tough and dense.
- Oats: Besides adding complex carbs to the scones, oats make them more toothsome. They also add the heartiness associated with Irish soda bread.
- Dried fruits: Cranberries and raisins add tartness and sweetness to each of the scones as well as color.
- Baking powder and soda: They work with buttermilk to give the scones lift and help retain their softness. Make sure both are fresh before you proceed with the recipe.
- Buttermilk: Much like Irish soda bread, buttermilk plays an important role. The acid in buttermilk reacts with the leavening agents mentioned above.
- Salt: Sea salt promotes that satisfying sweet-savory balance.
A complete ingredients list with amounts is in the recipe card below!
How to Make Irish Soda Bread Scones
- Melt the butter: Melt the butter in a saucepan, then set it aside to cool.
- Mix the dry: Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. These include flour, oats, leavening agents, salt, and dried fruits.
- Add the wet: The cooled melted butter and the other wet ingredients go directly over the dry ingredients. Once done, fold with a rubber spatula.
- Knead: The dough will initially be scraggly, but once you turn it onto a lightly floured work surface, knead it until it comes together.
- Divide: After forming the dough into a round, cut it in half, then cut each half into four wedges.
- Brush and bake: Transfer the wedges to a parchment-lined sheet, brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with salt, and bake until golden.
Variations, Substitutions, and Cooking Tips
Use other dried fruits – Cherries would be a tasty addition to the scones, as would chopped figs. Experiment to determine what you like best.
Add nuts – Chopped almonds will add a crisp crunch to Irish soda bread scones. To ensure they don’t interfere with the dough, replace dried fruit with nuts in equal parts.
Skip the egg – You can brush scones with milk or cream if you have an egg allergy. Both serve the same purpose.
Make buttermilk – No buttermilk? Add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to a measuring cup, followed by enough whole milk to reach the 1-cup line to make it yourself. You can also use white vinegar or cream of tartar in place of lemon juice.
What Is Irish Soda Bread?
Irish soda bread is a quick bread that doesn’t require any yeast. Instead, baking soda and acidic buttermilk leaven the bread to create its unique texture. It has a dense, tight crumb while retaining a soft tenderness and tastes like a biscuit.
What to Serve with Irish Soda Bread Scones
Flavored butter is great with Irish soda bread scones. Butter combined with a sweetener and a warm spice or two is one way to go. Jam or preserves also work well because it complements the scones’ fruity notes. Another option is the butter and jam/preserves pairing, which is pretty epic and feels very indulgent, as does a dollop of homemade whipped cream.
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted until browned
- 3¾ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 1 cup coconut cream
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, beaten to blend
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a large bowl mix the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and dried cranberries/golden raisins together.
- Pour in the buttermilk, coconut cream, vanilla, and melted browned butter over flour mixture; fold together with a spatula until the flour mixture is just moistened.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and, using your hands, knead gently until the dough comes together (if the dough is a bit too wet, add additional flour one tbs. at a time)
- Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a ball; flatten each ball into an 8-inch round. Cut each round in half and then each half into 4 pieces (See first photo).
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, add the scones (make sure to separate them by a few inches to prevent sticking). Brush tops with beaten egg, and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
- Bake scones until deep golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately or, keep in a container for up to a week.
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