Mini Irish Soda Biscuits with Currants, Caraway, and Thyme

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
— George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright

This is my second month participating in Progressive Eats, a virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month is hosted by Liz Berg, the author of That Skinny Chick Can Bake (and boy can she!). We’re featuring dishes with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. At the end of the post you will find all the delicious recipes including drinks, appetizers, main course, sides dishes and dessert!

Try these Irish Soda Biscuits as a mini alternative to a loaf of bread and a perfect pair for your St. Patrick's Day Irish Stew

I’m at it again. The woman with the fear of dough is sharing a recipe for homemade biscuits. Last post I shared super simple no-rise challah and now mini Irish soda biscuits for St. Patrick’s Day. So if hot-out-of-the-oven bread is only a dream for you, get over your fear and turn on the oven!

A Rise in Baking

Now that my confidence with bread is on the rise, I was eager to learn about traditional Irish Soda Bread. Turns out it is a really simple bread to make. No yeast, no rise time, very little kneading. Buttermilk activates the baking soda to make it rise in the oven. In my head, though, I was picturing individual rolls or biscuits to go with the meal. So I looked back at my Cheesy Yogurt Biscuits recipe and modified that with influence from the Irish Soda Bread technique and created these little gems.

Try these Irish Soda Biscuits as a mini alternative to a loaf of bread and a perfect pair for your St. Patrick's Day Irish Stew

Mini Irish Soda Biscuits or Muffins

At first go-round, I thought it would be cute to make them in mini muffin tins. Truthfully, all that accomplished was a soft bottom to the muffin/biscuit and extra time to clean the tin. So on the next try, I just dropped them straight on to parchment and they worked out perfectly.

Try these Irish Soda Biscuits as a mini alternative to a loaf of bread and a perfect pair for your St. Patrick's Day Irish Stew

Traditional Irish Flavors

I also experimented with the flavors; the recipe below gives you choices. After researching Irish flavors, I learned that caraway, thyme, and currants are very traditional in Irish Soda Bread. I tried caraway and thyme in the first batch and loved the caraway flavor, reminiscent of a crusty deli rye bread from my childhood memory flavor bank. Second time, I left out the caraway and tried currants and thyme with a hint of orange zest. The biscuits were a little less savory but still a great match for a hearty meal. The currants really popped in the little biscuits. Just loved the texture and flavor they add to the crumb.

Caraway and currants would also be a great combination. So be creative – go with what you like, what you have on hand, or what matches your meal the best.

Try these Irish Soda Biscuits as a mini alternative to a loaf of bread and a perfect pair for your St. Patrick's Day Irish Stew

A Cultured Decision

Try these Irish Soda Biscuits as a mini alternative to a loaf of bread and a perfect pair for your St. Patrick's Day Irish StewFor liquid, I used all buttermilk as well as buttermilk and yogurt. The yogurt makes the biscuits really light. You could also increase the amount of butter if you want something flakier but I like the more quick bread/soda bread type of texture.

My recipe calls for half white flour and half whole wheat. You can certainly use all white or all whole wheat or even experiment with spelt, for example. These come together quickly with no knead need for a mixer or Cuisinart. If you have any leftovers, they will crisp back up nicely in a toaster or regular oven.

Hope you enjoy this month’s #ProgressiveEats menu and these little Irish Soda Bread Biscuits.

 

Try these Irish Soda Biscuits as a mini alternative to a loaf of bread and a perfect pair for your St. Patrick's Day Irish Stew
5 from 2 votes
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Mini Irish Soda Biscuits with Currants, Caraway, and Thyme

These come together really quickly, especially if you leave a stick of butter in the freezer to use for grating. If not, put the two tablespoons of butter in the freezer at the beginning of prep so it can be ready to grate into the flour mixture part way through the recipe. I like the combination of caraway and thyme or currants, orange zest, and thyme but I think currants and caraway would be an excellent combination as well.
Course bread
Cuisine Irish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 24 biscuits
Calories 61 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups buttermilk or 1.25 cups buttermilk and 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons frozen butter shredded

Optional add-ins:

  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup currants hydrate in hot water if yours are a little dry
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put all dry ingredients thru salt into a small to medium size bowl. If you are using orange zest, thyme, or caraway seeds, add them as well. Whisk it all until combined.
  3. In a measuring cup combine buttermilk and honey (yogurt if using).
  4. Shred the butter as if shredding cheddar cheese and put it directly into the flour mixture. Use your hands or a pastry blender to mix it in. You should see it clump up a bit. It's not much butter so you will not see all the flour dissolve into little peas of butter - there will be plenty of loose flour still visible.
  5. Now pour in the buttermilk mixture and combine with a spatula for a few stirs then add in the currants if you are using them and finish mixing until just combined with no loose flour showing.
  6. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes (or longer).
  7. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon drop a little under a ¼ cup of dough for each biscuit on to the parchment lined baking sheet. Leave about 1.5 inches between each one so they cook evenly and crisp up. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, then move to a cooling rack. Eat them warm out of the oven if possible but they reheat nicely the next day.

 

St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Appetizers

Drinks

Main Course

Bread

  • Irish Soda Biscuits with Caraway and Thyme from OMG! Yummy

Veggies/Side Dishes

Desserts

Try these Irish Soda Biscuits as a mini alternative to a loaf of bread and a perfect pair for your St. Patrick's Day Irish Stew

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16 Responses to Mini Irish Soda Biscuits with Currants, Caraway, and Thyme

  1. Liz February 28, 2017 at 11:09 am #

    I love all the options you’ve given for these picture perfect biscuits! Definitely yummy!

    • Beth Lee March 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

      Thanks Liz – I can’t wait to get around to everyone’s posts. This is such a creative group and I appreciate that you are making me push myself as well.

  2. Rita March 1, 2017 at 8:37 am #

    Biscuits are the best — super simple. Really like your flavor combination

    • Beth Lee March 1, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

      Coming from you – I feel proud! Thanks Rita! Can’t wait to chat with you and see you again soon!

  3. Deb|EastofEdenCooking March 1, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

    Love the addition of currants! They really are an unrated ingredient. I know it’s March already, but geez, wasn’t it just the New Year?

    • Beth Lee March 1, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

      Yes it was Deb! Can you believe it? I really want to coordinate meeting you at a weekend farmers’ market if you are interested — maybe in Aptos area? Springtime when we can count on the weather a bit more?

  4. Hannah March 3, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

    Hi Beth! These little biscuits are ideal for St Patrick’s Day or anytime, I think. Honestly, I can’t believe we’re thinking about St Patty’s Day…the year is already flying! I wouldn’t have thought to add caraway seeds, but knowing my husband’s love of all things caraway these would be devoured in our house. Thank you for the inspiration! xx

  5. [email protected] March 9, 2017 at 9:27 am #

    I am totally in love with these biscuits. They’re like scones, only so much cuter. The rough edges and the simple recipe means that your fellow fear-of-dough types won’t hesitate to try them. I loved your challah and now with these biscuits, I will have complete the circle of Jewish-Irish bread for my Jewish-Irish family. Can’t wait to try them

  6. nabila March 13, 2017 at 9:58 am #

    nice dish for you

    “Just to say “thank you” We all enjoyed your delicious food and the evening was everything we hoped it would be. Thank you so much.“

  7. susan | the wimpy vegetarian April 4, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

    These are so adorable, and I want to make them! I think we should all be eating soda bread all year long.

  8. Little Cooking Tips April 10, 2017 at 10:36 pm #

    Hi Beth! How are you? We hope you’re well and everything is going great!
    It’s been a some months since our last visit… As you may remember from our short Twitter “exchange” we were “offline” for a long time ourselves, and only started blogging around Christmas again. So, one step at time, we’re getting back to reading some of our favorite bloggers, like you:)
    And what a recipe was this; bursting with flavors and inspiring! Caraway seeds are pretty hard to get here though, have you ever tried classic cumin in this fashion?
    Glad to be back here:)
    Sending you lots of sunshine from Athens,
    Mirella and Panos

    • Beth Lee April 11, 2017 at 7:01 am #

      Good to hear from you Mirella and Panos. Always brightens my day. Things are actually not so good here – but I am not writing about it publically yet. Will send you an email offline. Cumin could step in for the caraway but it would nudge the flavor in a different direction from a distinctly Irish profile. If ever you want me to send you some caraway to experiment with, just say the word and I’ll do it! Hope to meet you both in person in your beautiful country sometime in the not too distant future! Sending you a bit of morning fog from California 🙂 Beth

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