I want to tell you about Pesto Soda Scones, an easy recipe that produces a fantastic end result. This is (naturally) another of the recipes we learned during the course, and it has become part of our standard repertiore. On this occasion, Jane made the scones, but I assure you that the recipe is so easy even I can make them (I have done in the past!).
Acknowledgement: this recipe is Catherine's, but I'm sure she would want me to tell you about it.
Pesto Soda Scones (serves four, but can easily be halved)
- 450g plain white flour
- 1 level tsp sugar
- 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda (in Ireland this is known as bread soda or baking soda)
- 1 level tsp salt
- 350 - 450ml buttermilk or soured milk (you can make your own by adding some lemon juice to ordinary milk)
- 1 small jar (120ml?) Pesto [We use frozen home-made pesto cubes]
- Other flavourings to taste - such as chopped Sundried tomatoes, chopped pitted olives, Tapenade, herbs, etc
- Preheat oven to 230C / 450F / Gas Mark 8
- Sieve all the dry ingredients
- Mix in any of the "other flavourings" you are using
- Make a well in the centre, pour in most of the buttermilk and mix to a soft dough
- If more milk is needed, add it now
- When mixed, turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly
- Flatten into a long thin shape about 1cm in thickness
- Lightly spread the pesto onto the dough
- Working from the longer edge, roll up the dough (like a Swiss Roll or Roulade)
- Seal the edges by pinching them together
- Cut into slices about 2.5cm in width
- Lay the slices flat on a baking tray that has been greased, or lined with non-stick baking parchment)
- Bake for approx 15 minutes, checking frequently
- [Cooking time varies a lot depending on the fillings you use and the thickness of the scones].
The end result should look like this:-
Here you can see the spiral shape quite clearly:
Serve while still warm, perhaps as an accompaniment to some home-made Tomato Soup, or with a piece of nice cheese. Maybe slice them horizontally and spread the pieces with soft cream cheese and top with a cherry tomato?
Note: Soda bread goes stale very quickly, so don't make more of these than will be consumed with 24 hours at most. (They don't tend to hang about long though...)
An afterthought: I'm sure you could do sweet versions of this too, using jam instead of pesto, with fillings like apricots, raisins, candied peel, etc.