I’ve been making scones since I was a little girl. My parents were born and raised in Ireland so making scones was a weekly event. During the Lenten season, scones were a definitive staple on the dining table. My father worked for Trans World Airlines so traveling back and forth to Ireland during our summer holiday was a yearly event. Watching my grandmother make bread/scones was always mesmerizing to me. She used a huge ceramic Mason Cash bowl, and mixed everything by hand. None of the ingredients were measured very carefully. She would pour leavening ingredients into the palm of her hand before throwing them into the mix. She used an old china teacup to measure flour for the mixture. The teacup would be placed back inside the bag of flour for future use. The flour that she used was of a course, whole wheat texture. The hearty aroma and flavor were like none other and can’t easily be duplicated with our traditional American flour selection. I’ve often thought of purchasing the flour from available on-line sources but I can’t justify the cost. Hence, I offer this recipe as an alternative. Is it exactly the same as the old country flavor? Well, no…. But, it’s a close second and my family enjoys the hearty flavor of these beautiful scones. Served with a heaping helping of butter and homemade jam, this recipe is a winner.
Hearty Irish Scones
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup old fashioned oats + 1/4 cup for topping
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons (5/8 cups) butter or margarine
1 3/4 – 2 cups buttermilk
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar and salt. Stir in oatmeal. Cut in butter with your fingers or with a pastry blender. Add raisins and mix; then add buttermilk and mix/ kneed just until dough comes together. If dough is too wet, kneed in extra flour; just until dough becomes less sticky.
Transfer dough to a floured work surface and gently shape into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Cut either into 2-inch circles with a biscuit cutter. Transfer to baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with extra oatmeal; lightly pat oats into surface. Bake 15-18 minutes, until browned on the bottom. If desired, you can flip scones to bake 2 more minutes to further brown the bottoms. Let cool or serve warm.
Well, another school year is over… Yesterday we made our annual trip down to campus to load up the car with dorm room accessories and furniture that will be stored away for the summer. Packing and unpacking can make for a long day! Sometimes it’s hard to find a break to stop for a meal as parking is limited and the anticipation of the heavy traffic on the return trip home makes everyone anxious.
Having said this, I was prepared for the worst as I loaded up a goodie bag with scones, yogurt, cold pizza, bottled water, sandwiches, homemade applesauce and a few energy bars as we started out on our daylong voyage. I have a recipe that combines just a few ingredients to make a batch of tasty scones so I got up early to prepare them for the trip. I must say, I had to slap a few hands as I took the scones out of the oven for everyone wanted to nibble on the treats before leaving the house. I quickly covered the tray with a light tea towel and told everyone to find something else to eat. These little gems were to be packed in with the other goodies we would eat after a long day of packing and pitching. Here’s the recipe for the tasty 4-ingredient scones. They are made using a muffin mix which is super convenient, quick, and easy! I had an egg white left over from another recipe so I brushed the tops of the scones and sprinkled them with a bit of sugar before popping them in the oven.
One 18-ounce box of cranberry-orange muffin mix.
(Krusteaz or another brand with canned berries included)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
2 tablespoons water
Extra flour for dusting
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use non-stick spray to lightly coat a cookie sheet.
Pour the muffin mix into a large bowl. Add egg, yogurt and water. Stir to mix batter. Batter will be thick. Rinse and drain the cranberries that come with the mix and stir into batter. Pour mixture onto a lightly floured surface on pat together to make a flat round about 1″ thick. Add flour if needed. Cut the round into 8 triangles by slicing in half, then fourths, then 8 triangles. Carefully place onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Slightly cool; remove to a baking rack to cool completely.
After a busy week of meetings, county fair obligations, car pools, and laundry, I finally found time for a little early morning baking. Yesterday, while the house was quiet and the family was still sound asleep, I brewed a cup of coffee and popped a few batches of scones into the oven for a light and fancy breakfast. As the children woke and entered the kitchen, I could see their eyes widen as they caught a whiff of the delicious scones while they finished baking. The almond extract, pecans, and blueberries all lent a hand as their enticing aromas danced through the house. Gosh, I miss the days when I could find time to bake nearly every day. Times change and busy schedules prevail. Still, it was wonderful to find time this week to enjoy the pleasures of early morning baking and cherished time spent with the family over breakfast.
Oh My Goodness Oat-n-Nut Blueberry Scones
1 1/2 cups whole oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Combine oatmeal, flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl. Use a pastry cutter or two forks and cut in the butter with the flour mixture until crumbly and well blended. Stir milk and extract into the flour mixture until just combined. Lightly fold in the pecans and blueberries. On a lightly floured surface, collect the dough into a ball and pat into a large circle about 1″ thick. Cut into 8 wedges, and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
My family has been making these scones for as long as I can remember. As a young girl, I used to watch my mom make batches of these buttermilk scones without having to use a recipe. She would mix everything up by hand, then swiftly kneed and cut triangular shapes from the rolled dough. During the Lenten season, Mom would make several batches as we would have scones and tea for Friday dinner.
These days, I regularly make scones for my family. I, too, can make them without the recipe but I use a biscuit cutter to uniformly cut the soft dough into circular shapes. We often top the baked scones with homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam.(Although, J and M prefer to top them with gobs of peanut butter.) After removing a batch from the oven, it isn’t long before they’ve all been eaten and everyone is asking for more.
Mary’s Irish Scones
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup buttermilk
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut margarine into flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, with pastry blender until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in raisins and buttermilk until dough leaves the side of the bowl. Add more milk or flour as needed. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Kneed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Roll dough into a round about 1/4 to 1/2″ thick. With a biscuit cutter, cut scones and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.