There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
-- George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright
Irish Soda Biscuits with Currant, Caraway and Thyme marry traditional Irish soda bread with simple drop biscuits. If you are a biscuit lover, check out my Cheesy Bacon Drop Biscuits too!
I’m at it again. The woman with the fear of dough is sharing a recipe for homemade 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: How Irish Biscuits were Born
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.
Irish Soda Bread Biscuits or
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.
Traditional Irish Flavors in Soda Bread Biscuits
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.
Ingredient Choices for Irish Soda Biscuits
For 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.
How to Make Irish Soda Bread style Biscuits
- Prep your dry ingredients and flavor additions in a small to medium-sized bowl (except currants)
- Combine wet ingredients in a measuring cup
- Shred butter directly into dry ingredients and combine
- Add wet ingredients and currants if using.
- Combine without over mixing and let rest for at least 5 minutes
- Use a cookie or ice cream scoop and drop biscuits on to a parchment-lined baking sheet
- Bake as directed.
- Cool on a cooling rack but eat while still warm if possible. Or they reheat well!
Supplies for Making Irish Soda Bread Style Biscuits
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Mini Irish Soda Biscuits with Currants, Caraway, and Thyme
- 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 ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons frozen butter shredded
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ⅓ cup currants hydrate in hot water if yours are a little dry
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 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.
- In a measuring cup combine buttermilk and honey (yogurt if using).
- 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.
- 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.
- Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes (or longer).
- 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
- Smoked Salmon Stuffed Baby Potatoes from The Redhead Baker
- Spinach Feta Rugelach from Mother Would Know
- Hot Cocoa with Baileys and Coconut Whipped Cream (Dairy-Free) from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Spicy Lamb Cobbler from Spice Roots
- Irish Soda Biscuits with Caraway and Thyme from OMG! Yummy
- Bacon and Leek Irish Colcannon (Gluten-Free) from The Heritage Cook
- Cabbage with Bacon and Cream from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Key Lime Pie with Graham Cracker Crust from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Irish Whiskey Cake from Creative Culinary
What a fun recipe for St. Patrick's Day! I love the story behind these...I had no idea you had a fear of dough.
Yuppers! And now I’m making sourdough so we shall overcome right!?
These look so good - kind of like a cross between scones and Welsh cakes, both of which I love. Warm right out of the oven these would be delicious for breakfast or snack!
Yes warm out of the oven is the best or reheated. Waving hello and hoping I can visit you in France, sooner than later. XO
I was just watching America's Test Kitchen and they made scones with currants so I was looking for something kind of similar. This is perfect!
Well happy to rate w ATK!
I love Irish soda bread so to see them in biscuit form is super intriguing and delicious. I would be in for all of the optional ad-ins too! Caraway must make these really sing!
It was a really fun recipe to develop!
These mini Irish soda biscuits are perfect for me to dip back into baking bread. I too have fear of dough! The half wheat flour is perfect for savory biscuits.
I'm super excited about this recipe. I've made Irish soda bread before but never thought of making them into biscuits! YUMMY!!
Little Cooking Tips
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
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
susan | the wimpy vegetarian
These are so adorable, and I want to make them! I think we should all be eating soda bread all year long.
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.“
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
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
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?
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?
Biscuits are the best -- super simple. Really like your flavor combination
Coming from you - I feel proud! Thanks Rita! Can't wait to chat with you and see you again soon!
I love all the options you've given for these picture perfect biscuits! Definitely yummy!
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.