« Going for Vibrant Moleskine Colours | Main | Learning while social hiking »

March 19, 2013

Irish Flour American Flour and Scones

Bake House SconesBernie Goldbach in Cashel | My photo of a Bake House scone.

I ENCOURAGE people visiting Ireland to try a different Irish scone every morning mainly because Irish flour differs from American flour.

I listen to Caítríona, an Irish food and parenting blogger, describe how she cleverly sources and astutely makes food and after a solid year of her podcasts, I yearn to attend a day-long seminar on "Irish Ethnic Baking" where secrets of the scone get discussed. I've discovered some already during scone-baking sessions with Busy Bees. The best sessions are the messiest. 

Here are some secrets I've uncovered.

-- Irish brown flour is much weaker (lower in gluten) than American whole-wheat flour and that works wonders for the delicate texture of Irish brown bread and for pastry but is not so good for yeast breads.

-- Odlum's soda bread mix helps bread chefs get the texture right more consistently than mixes up flours in magic proportions.

-- I watched young Mia make a perfect scone by working the fat into the flour with her fingers until it formed cornmeal-like crumbs. Then she asked me to knead the dough.

-- I like scones with a light taste. Those scones that taste lighter norare made with shortening and very wet dough. Am I cheating if I use olive oil and add an egg to the mix? The extra viscosity certainly makes the job easier.

-- FACT: Buttermilk is on Irish supermarket shelves to make better baked products.

-- Our oven needs to be preheated to 275C then run at 220C during baking. 

-- During the past 15 years of taste-testing Irish scones, I've developed a personal liking for scones made with a ratio of 1 1/4 cups of white flour to 1 cup of pastry flour. I get my pastry flour from Superquinn.

-- The lightest scones Mia has made resulted after she sifted the flour mixture five times.

I wish my favourite coffee morning haunts would share their scone recipes because I think they would discover people like me would seek them out as regular stops in their weekly routines.


Previously -- "Learned at Camp Bread" on Irish Typepad, August 27, 2007.

Bonus Link: Wholesome Ireland scones.

Bernie Goldbach is a creative multimedia lecturer who believes one element of the Tipperary Multimedia Hub should feature freshly baked products--every day in the incubation centre.

 

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451945169e2017ee9cfe649970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Irish Flour American Flour and Scones:

Comments

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment