Monday, May 20, 2013

Back to Basics - Irish Soda Bread (as scones)

One of the really great features of my home town in Nova Scotia, is its multicultural aspect. You wouldn't normally think that this would be true. I come from a very small town (today maybe 25K residents) in a remote corner of a remote island in Canada. And Nova Scotia means New Scotland! So you wouldn't normally believe that there would be so many people from so many cultural backgrounds. But, with all that, there are people there, with a Scottish background (of course), but also, Italians, Jews, Ukrainians and Poles, Russians and Italians and Irish as well.

 I haven't baked bread while reminiscing in a while. Just the other day I was thinking about 'the old country', and that started me thinking about Irish soda bread. This bread is an iconic Irish food. I have actually thought about baking it for years and never done so. This is because I had some irrational idea that it was long and complicated and, besides, it uses no yeast. What kind of bread uses no yeast? Only recently I read a recipe, saw how easy it is, and decided to go for it. I AM going to bake this bread. So... it is NOT complicated at all. One-half hour from start to finish. And delicious. I have made this bread in the form of scones (triangular wedges). But, unlike scones, this bread is made with low-fat buttermilk (1.5% fat) so there is NO guilt in eating several in one sitting. Which is what you'll do when you make these. Well, maybe just a little, but how can you resist?

 Here's What You'll Need: 
 3 cups flour (you can substitute some whole wheat for the AP flour - I used 1/2 cup ww flour and 2 1/2 cups AP flour)
1 Tbs. sugar 1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk

 Here's What You'll Need To Do: 

 1. Preheat the oven to 450F (about 220C).

 2. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine thoroughly.

 3. Make a well in the center, then pour in the buttermilk. Stir to combine and to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. DO NOT OVERMIX. (This develops the gluten in the flour and makes the scones chewy like bread - not crumbly like a good scone).

 4. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface, and knead only a few times to smooth the dough, then form into a disc about 7in (18cm) in diameter. Cut the disc into 6 or 8 wedges then place them on a parchment covered baking sheet.

 5. Bake for about 20 minutes until lightly browned top and bottom.

6. Cool on a rack.*

 * These scones taste great while still warm and smothered with butter and/or jam.


  1. This looks nice and easy to bake. I have tried Irish soda bread before but did not like the texture of the bread. It was not crisp at all but soggy. Now I think that I might have over mixed it. I am definitely going to try this scones.
    Thank you for your lovely posts.

  2. Great post! What do you use as buttermilk in Israel, Revyon (רוויון)?

    1. Yes. Revyon (רוויון)is the Israeli equivalent of buttermilk and works perfectly for all recipes calling for buttermilk. Thanks, btw, for the compliments on the post. I try to post every few weeks when I have a new and interesting recipe or technique I want to share.

  3. This looks awesome and simple to prepare. I have tried Irish soft drinks breads before but did not like the structure of the breads. It was not sharp at all but saturated. Now I think that I might have over combined it. I am definitely going to try this scones.
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