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What is a soda bread? Maybe you aren’t familiar with this type of bread, but traditionally, a lot of people celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with soda bread. And in case you’re thinking it: yes, there are other ways to celebrate than with green beer. For this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day, I’m taking the traditional recipe and turning it into the perfect Irish soda bread scones!
Let’s go on a soda bread history lesson
- Historically, soda bread was prepared a lot in Ireland. The bread was inexpensive to bake with simple ingredients that most people had on hand.
- Years ago, yeast was hard to find and bicarbonate, or baking soda, was cheap. The prevalence of baking soda is the reason why this bread utilities only this leavening agent.
- To cause a reaction, baking soda needs to have something acidic, and sour milk was almost always around. Today, we use buttermilk.
Soda bread is good but I don’t really find myself making it a lot. Once in a while when I want a loaf of bread and don’t have much time, I’ll opt for this type of bread. It’s super quick and moist, but not always exciting.
Recently I realized that soda bread is the perfect formula for scones. And since this is the year of brunch, well, pairing scones and soda bread is a match made in heaven! My tried and
Scones are that carb we all crave for brunch. Can I get an amen?! But the base for this recipe is soda bread, and soda bread by itself is now what I’d call “sweet.” And I think it’s against the law to have scones without at least a touch of sweetness. Maybe that’s just a law here in Iowa? (Totally joking.)
Here’s what I add to my scones
To add that punch of sweetness to the scone itself, frozen blueberries are my go-to option. Typically, they’re flash-frozen when ripe, so they retain their flavor. As a bonus, frozen blueberries don’t bleed into the batter when mixed and sliced.
The blueberries help to add sweetness, but a glaze really is the finishing touch. This time of year, oranges are at their peak. No, unfortunately, not in Iowa.
The sweetness and flavor of the orange mixed into the glaze gives the scones a shiny, sugary topping that everyone will want to grab.
Watch how to make these Irish soda bread scones:
Orange Blueberry Irish Soda Bread Scones
For the scones
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 5 tbsp cold butter
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- ½ tsp orange blossom water (optional, but adds intense orange flavor)
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
For the glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 2 tbsp orange juice
For the scones
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine.4 cups all-purpose flour, ⅓ cup white granulated sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 ½ tsp baking soda, 1 tsp kosher salt
- With the mixer running on low, add the butter one tablespoon at a time. Allow each addition of butter to mix in for 30 seconds before adding the next. Once all the butter is added, the mixture should look like coarse sand.5 tbsp cold butter
- Turn the mixer off and combine the wet ingredients. Whisk the buttermilk, vanilla, egg, orange zest, orange juice, and orange blossom water to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until moistened and shaggy, about 1 minute.1 ½ cups buttermilk, 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract, 2 large eggs, 2 tbsp orange zest, 1 tbsp orange juice, ½ tsp orange blossom water (optional, but adds intense orange flavor)
- Place dough on a well-floured board and knead until smooth. Pat into a roughly 16-inch circle. Pour blueberries on top and press in. Fold dough over on itself, kneading the blueberries into the dough. Press into a 12-inch circle. Cut into 8 equal wedges and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet.2 cups frozen blueberries
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden, 20-25 minutes. While baking, prepare the glaze.
- Once the scones are baked, remove them from the oven and cool for 5 minutes on the baking pan. Then transfer to a cooling rack. Glaze the scones while slightly warm.
For the glaze
- In a large bowl, sift the powdered sugar. Add the orange zest and juice. Whisk until smooth, adding more orange juice for a thinner glaze and more sugar for a thicker glaze.1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tbsp orange zest, 2 tbsp orange juice
Can you substitute cranberries instead of blueberries
Your video shows you adding ONE egg but the written recipe lists TWO eggs. My soda bread recipe is nearly identical to yours (& I’ve made it into scones as well) but mine only has one egg too. You might want to correct the written recipe. I love all your recipes so far. Thank you for such encouragingly easy videos! I’ve enjoyed them all.
Tried the recipe as written and the dough was a horrible mess, terribly wet. No matter how much I kneaded it, it would not dry out, even with added flour. I try to add the blue berries, but again it turn into a purple pile of wet dough. Sadly, the whole pile went into the trash… never even tried to bake it… not even sure how to fix other than adding another cup of flour…
So, I tried the recipe a second time, but with only one egg. It made all the difference. I would also suggest that 2 cups of blueberries is entirely too much, I barely used a cup and it might have been a little too many.
The scones baked well and are delicious, nice blend of flavors with the orange and blueberries. I would also suggest cutting them in smaller sizes as they make very large scones. Overall delicious,
I wanted to post a photo, these are yummy.
I find frozen blueberries do not work as well as fresh, but the two cups are the perfect amount and I do the mixing by hand and pop the scones in the freezer while the oven is heating. Makes a slightly more tender scone because it keeps the butter inside the dough colder.
Put the blueberries in the dry mix and then add the liquid, they will stay intact.
These are a requested favorite. 😀
Oh my…these tasted unbelievable. Scones are my favorite snack anytime of day and hard to find a bakery that does them well.
Now I’ll just make them myself!
Can I substitute lemon for the orange? Also as someone stated the list of ingredients shows 2 eggs but the video says 1 egg. Is the 1 egg correct?