Irish Kefir Scones
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
Our take on classic Irish recipe. Thanks to the addition of kefir the texture is light and airy. Coconut oil works in this recipe as a natural shortening agent leaving scones moist and fresh for longer (you can opt to bake on butter only - read hints below the recipe). High temperature, venting and then baking in lower temperature help to ensure that scones puff up, the skin is crisp and bottoms bake golden in colour (high temperature) but also keep moisture and airy texture intact (venting/lower temperature).
As a result you get airy, buttery and light scone which keeps fresh for up to 3 days.
Preparation here takes 15 minutes. Using cold butter and cool but soft coconut oil will help in creating buttery and light texture. Once you have crumbly buttery texture mixed with wet ingredients you will swiftly combine the dough. You may opt to fold the dough in 3 - same as business letter - for extra layers in your scone. Make sure to refrigerate shaped scones for some 20 minutes before baking (just enough time to preheat the oven) - in this way cold butter will be hit with high temperature straight away and rather than melt will create light and airy texture.
Irish Kefir Scones Recipe
Yield: 7 scones
Active time: 15 minutes prep + 20 minutes cooling + 15 minutes baking
Tin: scone cutter and baking tray
- 2 and 1/2 cups* (375g) all-purpose flour + 2 Tablespoons (20g) for work surface
- 2 flat tsps baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 80g unsalted butter, cold and diced
- 2 flat Tbsps (25g) coconut oil, room temperature (soft but cool); optionally substitute with butter
- 3 Tablespoons (45g) vanilla sugar or caster sugar
- 1 large egg, straight from the fridge
- 4/5 cup Kefir (200ml), straight from the fridge
*cup = 250ml cup
- 1 egg mixed with 2 Tablespoons full-fat milk
1. Prepare dry ingredients: Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. Prepare wet ingredients: Whisk 1 egg with sugar until fluffy and foamy. Add kefir and whisk until just combined. Set aside.
3. Combine: Add cold butter to sifted flour (from Step 1) and with pastry cutter cut it until it forms crumbly texture. If you don’t have pastry cutter use your hands - rub butter into the flour with your fingers, making flat pieces between your thumb and fingers (as if you were snapping your fingers). Be quick at it as you don't want to melt the butter. Once the texture is crumbly add 2 flat Tablespoons of coconut oil and with few quick moves combine to form crumbly texture. Add wet ingredients (from Step 2) and combine with your hands until firm enough to transfer into work surface. Transfer to lightly floured work surface (2 tablespoons of flour) and form the dough (few quick moves). Keep touch time to minimum.
4. Shape: Flatten the dough into 2-3cm thick rectangle, fold in 3 (same way as you would fold business letter) and flatten gently to bring back to 3-4cm thick rectangle. Cut scones with scone cutter (or a cup/glass, but sharp scone cutter would suit best). Place on parchment paper/silicon baking mat and refrigerate on the baking tray for 20 minutes before baking. During that time preheat oven to 240C (yes, very hot!). Once the cooling time is over apply egg wash on the top of each scone.
5. Bake for 6-7 minutes at 240C, after that time open the oven for few seconds to vent, lower the temperature to 190C and bake for another 8-10 minutes until golden brown and fully baked through. Once baked take out from the oven and leave for 5 minutes on the baking tray before transferring to the cooling rack.
1. Use cold butter (or even straight from the freezer) and coconut oil which is soft but cool. While forming crumbs you want to be quick not to melt the butter. You may opt to grate frozen butter on largest grater scale for the ease of working it into the dough (to keep butter cold and touch time to minimum).
2. You can opt to use butter only (105g in total). However, coconut oil is a natural shortening agent. Scones will be softer and will keep fresh for longer.
3. Shaping - don't use rolling pin here. Work gently with your hands to keep the dough puffy and soft. Folding the dough creates additional light layers in a scone. Using sharp scone cutter would be best - don't twist the cutter in the dough; with one move cut the dough and lift the scone cutter. If you don't have scone cutter it's OK too (best scones we have had in Dublin were pear-shaped and looked like were cut with a glass or a cup - tasted top notch though!). For taller scones you can roll out the dough 4cm thick - the tops may tilt slightly when baking. Another great trick we have used is to roll the dough into a log shape (after folding in 3) and cut into 3-4cm thick pieces, then shape again on the baking tray (works every time).
4. Don’t skip the cooling process - this will help kefir to work its magic (for more airy texture) but also will keep shape and buttery texture intact while baking.
5. Temperature - worth to bake as indicated in the recipe as you want your scone to puff up and have golden and baked through bottom - high temperature fixes just that. Then bake at lower temperature to fully bake it through in the same time keeping the moisture intact.