Irish Soda Scones are classic soda bread in the form of tender little scones ~ have them for breakfast, afternoon tea, or alongside your corned beef and cabbage. If you’re a spur of the moment baker, you’re going to love these incredibly easy scones.
soda scones: the magic of homemade bread in 30 minutes!
These Irish soda scones come from Darina Allen, the queen of traditional Irish cooking. This recipe is from her book Forgotten Skills of Cooking, where she reminds us of recipes and techniques that recent generations have missed. Soda bread is one of those utterly simple recipes that most of us never think to make, and soda scones are a brilliant rendition.
Soda scones require no-yeast, no rising time, and are lower in fat than traditional biscuit and scone recipes that include a lot of butter. The distinctive texture of soda bread is a result of the reaction between the acidic buttermilk and baking soda, which create bubbles of carbon dioxide in the dough that rises the bread.
you only need a few simple ingredients to make these scones
The spare list of pantry ingredients reflects authentic soda bread. This lean dough includes no butter, and no egg.
- Flour – I used all purpose, but I think these would be great using a combination of white and whole wheat flour, too. I’d also like to experiment with some oat flour, because it worked so well in my Irish oatmeal soda bread.
- Buttermilk, or replace with milk mixed with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice
- Baking soda ~ the rising agent
- Sugar ~ not authentic, but I use a small amount of sugar just to sweeten these scones ever so slightly. It’s optional. We enjoyed our scones with jam for breakfast, but if you plan to serve your scones as a side with dinner, leave it out.
why do I love these soda bread scones? let me count the ways…
- So easy! The ingredients get quickly mixed together in one bowl, and you’re ready to go before the oven preheats.
- I love soda bread, but it’s hard to avoid a fairly dense, hard crust because it needs to bake at a high temperature for a relatively long period of time. These little scones give you all the rustic flavor and texture of soda bread, while staying nice and soft. Perfect.
- They’re super versatile. They can be sweet or savory, which makes this a handy recipe to memorize. I love them with clotted cream and jam, but they’re also delicious with Irish Stew.
that jam, though…
It’s a gorgeous color, right? It’s a strawberry-rhubarb recipe that’s in the testing phase ~ I promise to bring it to the blog very soon! In the meantime, I have so many other jams and jellies that would make the perfect pair with these scones.
- Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly
- Clementine Jam
- French Apple Jam
- Blackberry Jam
- Pink Grapefruit and Vanilla Bean Jam
Classic Irish fare ~
Irish Soda Scones
- 1 lb (about 3 1/3 cups) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar (optional)
- 1 3/4 cup (414 ml) buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
- Slowly add the buttermilk to the flour mixture until the dough is shaggy but not too sticky and wet. You may not need to use quite all of the buttermilk.
- Place the dough on a well-floured surface and quickly knead a couple of times to bring it together. Gently pat it into a disc about 1 inch thick, and cut out about 8 scones, reshaping the dough as needed. You can also cut traditional triangles, as well.
- Place the scones on the prepared baking pan, turn down the oven to 400F, and bake for about 20 minutes until well risen and golden on top.
- Serve warm with butter and jam, or alongside soups and stews.
Questions and Reviews
Made the scones for the first time today. Cut the recipe in half to make a test batch. These were better than the scones we got at a Scottish Heritage festival recently. Will definitely be making these again. Time to experiment with adding ingredients such as herbs and/or cheese.
Anxious to try these later today … laughing as I kept thinking, oh, Sue must have left the butter out! HA HA!! All of my biscuit/ scone recipes have gobs of butter (which I love) but these are a mystery for me to discover. I know they’ll be great; I love your experiments 🙂
Another trick to scones, is when you punch out the circles, do not turn the cutter, Just down and up the scones will out puffier Handle the dough as little as posable
I just found this recipe today and made the scones. They were terrific! So easy! I used a gluten-free flour mix for 10 oz. And oat flour for 6 oz. plus 1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum. And I used powdered buttermilk and water. Did not have to use all the water. And I used a bit of the flour mix to dust my surface. Shaped dough into a rectangle and cut into 16 triangles because we like our scones small. Did not include sugar so we can use them for savory or sweet (hello honey!!!) applications. Thanks, Sue, for a simple, get-it-on-the-table-quick scone recipe!!!
Thanks so much for the gluten free info, Kristen!
I’ve been looking for an easy recipe like this. I’ll make it at dinner. One question, do they have to be rolled out and cut, or can one make them as drop scones, as a number of recipes allow?
Sure, you can do these as drop scones.
Just made these, 5 stars. I wanted a scone receipe without sugar, butter and egg. Thanks from Ireland.