Irish Scones (Print)

Prep time: Inactive: 12 hours or more
Cook time: Yields 1 dozen
  • 4 cups flour
  • 5 oz unsalted butter, cold
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (cultured or uncultured)
  • ½ cup raisins or dried cherries (optional)

Preheat the oven to 475 F.  Scones love very hot ovens.

Tip the flour into a large bowl. Add the baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar. Cut cold butter into ½ inch cubes and drop it into flour. Using your fingertips rub all the ingredients together until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add dried cherries or raisins if using.

Now gradually add the buttermilk.  Work quickly and gently.  Use your hand like a claw and pull the ingredients together until all combined.  Don’t add all buttermilk at once, see if you need it all - you don’t want the mixture to be too wet as this will cause spreading in the oven.

6. This is where most recipes call for the dough to be rolled out, bashed a bit and cut into circles.  I don’t do this.  Get your ice cream scoop or soup spoon and scoop out a neat ball of the mixture.

7. Pop onto your greased tray.  Continue with the rest of the mixture.  Leaving about 1 inch or a small finger’s worth of room between each scones.  Having scones closer together helps them stay tall.

8. Finish by brushing the scones with left over buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.

9. Place in the hot oven and reduce the temperature to 220 C (or gas mark 7/425F).

10. Depending on the size of your scones you need to bake them for 15 mins or until a skewers comes out clean.

11. Once cooked allow to cool and spread with real homemade butter and homemade jam.  Or just eat them without anything!

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