I have already talked about my favorite scones, being the Cream Scones, but there are many other methods to scone manufacturing. One of my second favorites (OK, let's face it, I love ALL scones) is what I have always considered the “Irish” method. Just like the famous Irish Soda Bread, so too can scones be made in the same way. This usually involves some buttermilk, which always helps to provide a very tender crumb, just as it does when added to a cake recipe.
I will warn you though, since Baking Soda begins to react as soon as it gets wet, unlike Baking Powder, you need to work fast to get these into the oven shortly after adding said Buttermilk, or you will loose some of your leavening. It's OK, once they are baked you can kick back and relax from the flurry of activity; preferably with a warm Soda Scone in your hand, lavishly adorn with rich Crème Fraîche or Devon Cream. ;)
Vanilla Bean Irish Soda Scones
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) (75g ) Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cream of Tarter
3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
12 TB (6 oz) (170g) cold Unsalted Butter
1 cup (8 oz) (235 ml) Buttermilk plus a little extra for brushing
1 Vanilla Bean scraped of it's caviar
Preheat oven to 425 F (220C) (gas mark 7) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
Mix AP Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, Cream of Tarter and Kosher Salt in a bowl.