St. Patrick's Day White Soda Scones

A few years ago I took a trip to Ireland, which lived up to its moniker of Emerald Isle. It is every bit as beautiful as you might imagine—green and lush, full of friendly farm folks, country cottages, manors, pubs and cows. Lots of cows. Because of the mild, wet climate and lush grass, they produce milk that is super rich and yellow (denoting high carotene levels). This is why Irish cheese and butter are so flavorful. Since then, I’ve discovered the flavorful milk and cheese made here in middle Tennessee, in much the same manner. JD Country Milk, Hatcher Dairy, and G&G Family Dairy, produce beautiful rich milk and butter. Sweetwater Valley Farm produces a variety of local cheddars. Both products are perfect in these tender scones perfect with Mike Arnold’s creamy potato soup for a very lucky dinner.
By | March 08, 2015


The key to tender scones is handling the mixture as little as possible.

Preheat oven to 450F.

Sift flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl, and rub the mixture with your fingertips to incorporate some air. Make a well in the center and pour in most of the buttermilk. Using one hand, with your fingers open and stiff, mix in a full circle, bringing the flour and liquid together, adding more liquid if necessary. The dough should be quite soft, but not too sticky.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and do not knead it but gently bring it into a ball. Flatten slightly to a height of about 1 1/2 inches. Cut dough into squares or whatever shape you like. Place scones onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake 10 to 15 minutes (depending on size). When cooked they should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.

About this recipe

This scone recipe is from Rachel Allen, the Martha Stewart of Ireland. Her and her husband, Isaac, made these for us at lunch. It is from her book, Favorite Food at Home with Rachel Allen (Morrow, 2006). We found them to be very tender, more like biscuits than scones.

JD Country Milk

Hatcher Family Dairy

Tennessee Real Milk

Sweetwater Valley Farm

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  • 3 2/3 cups (1 pound) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
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