I made Simon Pearce’s Vermont Cheddar Soup the other day and I couldn’t help but make the Simon Pearce’s Rory’s Scones to go with it! The soup, the scones, and a little real butter – there couldn’t be anything better on a cold, dreary, sleety March day! It’s enough to warm you from the inside out.
And just so you know, the Simon Pearce’s Rory’s Scones aren’t really scones at all – though the name is cute. Rory’s Scones are just tiny little Soda Breads. And they’re just as easy to knock out as any Soda Bread is! Just a few minutes to mix and a short bake and they will be an outstanding addition to your Simon Pearce’s Vermont Cheddar Soup or just about any soup! Check out my Soups, Chowders, and Chilis if you need a little more inspiration for another soup to go with Rory’s Scones.
About Simon Pearce’s Rory’s Scones:
I’ve been making versions of Irish Soda Bread for as long as I can remember – it’s so easy and so fast and really is the perfect thing to fill out a bowl of soup and make it dinner worthy. My favorite is the Ballymaloe’s Irish Soda Bread just as it’s taught in Ireland at the Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery School. There’s something to be said about these little baby Irish Soda Breads, though.
They’re just perfect little nugs of deliciousness and I think I like them even better than full-sized soda bread. Each of these little scones, they’re just a little over an inch across, are just the right size for a little pat of butter and I like the proportion of the crust to the bread.
At Simon Pearce, they pipe out their butter into a pretty little swirl – I was tempted to recreate that but I keep sayin’ I’m all about simple these days, but I might keep that in mind any time I have a fancy dinner party! (If and when – it’s been a long time!) Just plain old butter is just fine by me, but I gotta admit, a little jam went on a few that were left and I know I’m going to want some with my Easy Whipped Strawberry Butter next time!
Making Simon Pearce’s Rory’s Scones:
This recipe for Simon Pearce’s Rory’s Scones says it makes 54 scones, which is not as much as it sounds like given they’re tiny little things. The recipe, if not cut into small scones, would make the equivalent of a smallish Irish Soda Bread. It’s easy to half or quarter and since Soda Bread is at it’s best fresh out of the oven and the recipe is so fast and easy, I’d just make as many as you think you’ll want.
Soda Bread can be toasted and it’s excellent that way if you have any leftover, but Rory’s Scones really can’t be toasted. If you’d like to reheat, wet a napkin or paper towel, wring it out well, wrap your scones in it and pop in the microwave for about a minute.
When I said this recipe for Simon Pearce’s Rory’s Scones is easy, I meant it! One bowl, mix together, dump onto a little flour on your board or counter and pat into a rectangle about 3/4″ high. I use a ruler to square up the sides and then just lay the ruler on top of the scones, turn it vertically and use it to push right through the dough, repeating and going in the other direction to make squares. Easy peasy.
Just handle that dough as little as possible, mixing the minimum amount to bring it together, barely pat to get it into some kind of rectangular shape and you can’t go wrong. When you place these on the baking sheet, they should be very close together – leave maybe 1/4″ between. If you have a thin spatula or a pastry cutter, that makes it super easy to transfer to the baking sheet.
Saving Money on Simon Pearce’s Rory’s Scones:
There’s hardly a cheaper bread recipe to make than any kind of Irish Soda Bread, including Simon Pearce’s Rory’s Scones. There’s not fat or butter, and the only potentially pricey ingredient is buttermilk. I “clabber” my milk to sub in for the buttermilk. Add a tablespoon of vinegar for each cup of milk – put the vinegar in the measuring cup first and then top it off with the milk to the appropriate measurement and then let it sit for a few minutes. I like to use whole milk when I make my homemade buttermilk but use what you have. These ran about 40 cents to make.
Pick up your basic baking items like flour on sale, stocking up during the Winter Holidays or pre Easter sales, or check Aldi if you have one nearby for prices that rival the grocery store specials. Always place anything containing flour into the freezer for three days to avoid the possibility of “peskies.”
Simon Pearce's Rory's Scones
- 4 cups flour, plus extra to pat out scones (see note)
- ½ heaping teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar, heaping
- 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature if possible
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray baking sheet, set aside.
Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add the buttermilk. Mix together by hand until just combined. Do not overwork or over mix the dough; it should be light and springy to the touch. It doesn’t have to be smooth, just mixed.
Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and pat into a rectangle nine inches by six inches and about 3/4 inch thick. Cut dough into 1″ strips across, then cut the same in the other direction, making 54 small scones.
Arrange the dough squares in a rectangle on the prepared baking sheet in 9 rows of 6, just as they were when cut, so they are barely touching. Bake until the scones are very lightly golden brown (see note) 17 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time.
Let the scones cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove from the sheet and gently separate them before serving.
- The original recipe call for bread flour.
- The scones may not brown well. Do not overbake.
Adapted from All Things Good