Blarney Scones

sodabread web

I can’t imagine Saint Patrick’s Day without Irish soda bread. I start baking it around March 1—about the same time the lit-up shamrock goes up on the side of the house–so my family can get into the holiday spirit at breakfast each day.
This year we’re eating a slightly healthier version than my usual soda bread, the recipe for which I published last year.
I have always made soda bread with white flour, but my neighbor Mary Stuart Cosby urged me to try a brown version, and now I’m hooked. She suggested this recipe, which is adapted from King Arthur Flour.
KAF suggests using its Irish-style wholemeal flour, a coarsely ground flour that sounds a bit like old-fashioned American Graham flour. I don’t have any (next year I’ll order some in advance!) so I’ve been using KAF’s white whole-wheat flour. The whole-wheat flour gives the bread a lovely nutty flavor.
Of course, the bread would be even healthier if we could resist slathering Kerrygold butter all over it! So far we haven’t been able to make ourselves pursue health to that degree, however.
By the way, I must admit that I didn’t make up the name “Blarney Scone.” That honor goes to one of my favorite grocery stores, Trader Joe’s, which is selling small rounds of soda bread under that name this month.
Brown Soda Bread
2-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1-1/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) sweet butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup raisins (Mary Stuart suggested cutting them in half to distribute them better; I got lazy and didn’t do this, but I think it’s a good idea)
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
1 egg
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a bowl combine the flours, the sugar, the baking soda, and the salt. Cut in the butter; then stir in the raisins.
In a separate bowl or measuring cup whisk together the buttermilk and the egg. Stir this mixture into the flour just until combined.
Divide the dough into two clumps (they will be a little sticky) and knead each one briefly on a lightly floured board until they hold together as balls. Place them on the prepared sheet.
Break the bread for 15 minutes; then reduce the heat to 375 and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until it is golden brown. Makes 2 small loaves.



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5 Responses to “Blarney Scones”

  1. commonweeder says:

    I have never been a fan of Irish soda bread, even laden with Irish butter, because it always seemed too dry. However, I recently went to a meeting where I was served a delicious soda bread which means I’ve never been in the presence of someone who really knew how to cook it. Since I am devoted to whole wheat I will give this recipe a try. Thanks.

  2. Your soda bread looks delish!

    It’s still a little early for me to start finding all the four leaf clovers around here…but it’s not too early for soda bread and leprachauns.

    Time to read about St Patrick again….who actually came from Wales. :–)

    Between your soda bread and Guiness stew….I think we’re all set!

    Any chance you’ll make an appearance at the Irish boiled dinner community meal this Friday at Trinity church?

  3. Sue Haas says:

    Looks great, Tinky! Thanks. Will make it. –Do you have other lit holiday shapes on the side of your house, too–besides the shamrock? Where is your nearest Trader Joe’s? Happy St. Paddy’s Day.

  4. Grad says:

    I really did kiss the Blarney Stone (not the scone, however). I loved the time I lived in Ireland while a student at UCD. I manage to do something special every St. Patrick’s Day (not hard in Savannah since the whole town shuts down for the parade and I have the day off) because I loved the country and the people so very much – still do. I think I’ll try this soda bread recipe on Wednesday.

  5. tinkyweisblat says:

    Thanks, all. Commonweeder, do try this recipe (the other is good, too, but if you’re a whole-wheat girl this is the one for you). You may substitute dried cranberries for the raisins if you like.

    Deb, alas, I am out of town and will miss the boiled dinner. I have procured a tiny piece of corned beef from a wonderful local butcher where I am so with luck my mother and I can enjoy it without being overwhelmed since we’ll be on our own that day!

    Grad, how wonderful about the Blarney Stone. And about Savannah’s celebration of March 17; you definitely live in a town that knows how to have fun.

    And Sue, yes, I DO have other shapes; how did you guess? The Easter bunny goes up when the shamrock comes down.

    The nearest TJ’s to us in Hawley is in Hadley–almost an hour away despite the similarity in the towns’ names! But I’m in New Jersey rght now, where there is one within walking distance! Too, too tempting…..