Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Irish soda bread scones

We have been eating actual food these days, despite it looking (based on the recipes I've been posting) like we've just been eating bread and sweets. It's just that...the breads and sweets are calling to me for whatever reason, and there's something cathartic for me about going in the kitchen and mixing a bunch of things together and coming out with this amazing and wonderful dessert or bread or whatever.
Definitely not as cathartic and exciting about going in the kitchen every evening and making chicken adobo or a crab boil or or hummus or homemade chicken wings. And yet, I've been making those, too. And having a few cooking fails along the way.
And so, with that preface, I give you these scones, which are amazing. I'm eating one right now, in fact, with Devonshire cream and strawberry preserves. (it's my treat for eating salad with tuna for lunch) Enjoy.

From the lovely, and very talented Smitten Kitchen. (Have you seen her son? So cute) My notes in itals.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon table salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (4 tablespoons softened, 1 tablespoon melted)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I made my own, with milk and lemon juice. Didn't have any buttermilk)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup currants or raisins
1 tablespoons caraway seeds (I left these out, because I don't have any)

Heat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the upper-middle position. Whisk dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt) in a large bowl. Work the softened butter into the dry ingredients with a fork, pastry blender or your fingertips until the flour mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the wet ingredients (buttermilk and egg), currants or raisins and caraway seeds, if you’re using them, and stir with a fork until the dough just begins to come together. Turn out onto a work surface and knead until the dough just becomes cohesive and bumpy. You’re not going for a smooth dough.
Pat dough into a round and use a knife or dough divider to cut it into 8 wedges. Form each wedge into a round and place on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. Cut a cross shape into the top of each. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Scones should be golden brown a skewer should come out clean. Remove from the oven and brush with butter before cooling to room temperature.
Now, Deb and several of her readers point out that soda bread gets very dense after the first day. So I froze my remaining scones, and plan to take them out one at a time and, per one of her commenter's suggestion, wrap them in foil and heat at 350 until warmed through.

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