Recipe: Seaweed Scones

A while ago we had an unfortunate mishap with some rye flour. We brought a little baby sourdough culture into the world and slowly but surely drowned it. Or maybe scorched it in London’s intense heat. Or maybe we cut off some vital aspect of life; whatever we did to it, it surely died. A slow and sad death. Heartbreaking.

Trying to find a positive amongst all that, that did leave us with some spare organic rye flour leftover and when we clocked a recipe put up by fellow Irish blogger The Rebel Kitchen (with the very talented Emma Kenneally as the rebel with a culinary cause) last week for a very Irish scone recipe we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to test it out with our flour substitution. The result was a success and it made the death of our former rye flour incarnation a little bit more bearable, and us less guilty.

savoury seaweed scones cheese mustard sesame seed dulse dillisk baking Irish

These scones are very different to the shtyle of schone we were brought up on. Us pair of ‘Nineties kids’ are used to ours being uniform and tall yet plump, made from twisting fat circles from a dry, elastic dough and watching them balloon up in the heat of the oven, slicked with a shiny, slimy, golden egg wash. We are used to rounded sides, tanned tops and baking powder internal overload.

This particular modern day mixture we had in front of us last week is gloopy, messy and quite frustrating. It spawns ill-shaped, inconsistent, rough and ready dollops of grey slop which look like they will never bother to reach the potential you will them lovingly towards.

savoury seaweed scones cheese mustard sesame seed dulse dillisk baking Irish

With all that in mind, please be assured that these seaweed scones taste absolutely delicious. They are light, though firm and staunchly hold their shape through cooking, knobbly all around – providing a delicious crunch not usually attainable from scones – and subtle enough to suit everyone’s tastes.

savoury seaweed scones cheese mustard sesame seed dulse dillisk baking Irish

Taste-wise, the seaweed hints at its salty self sitting within the scones when fresh and warm from the oven, but softens slightly into the background once the scones have gone cold. The parmesan and mustard lift the flavour, while the inner seasoning balances it all out. Our addition of sesame seeds adds an extra depth of crunch and interest.

savoury seaweed scones cheese mustard sesame seed dulse dillisk baking Irish

Play around with it, change up some of the ingredients (but try to stick within the measurement ball park) and make ’em your own. We added sesame seeds, glazed with a mustard wash and omitted the oats from Emma’s original; let’s not forget we also fundamentally changed the flour type and ratio.

savoury seaweed scones cheese mustard sesame seed dulse dillisk baking Irish

Dry ingredients

  • 200g plain flour
  • 200 g rye flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • one generous pinch of sea salt
  • roughly 1 tsp worth of freshly cracked black pepper (optional)
  • 15 g parmesan (finely grated – about 2 tbsp)
  • two handfuls of dried dillisk/dulse or whatever seaweed you can get hold of

Wet ingredients

  • 75g butter
  • 300ml buttermilk (note: we had none, so just mixed a little less than that amount with the juice of one average-sized lemon)
  • One large free-range or organic egg, beaten

Glaze

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard mixed with 2 tbsp water

We used the exact same method that Emma gave, so go to her blog for the step-by-step. In very brief – sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cream of tartar) and stir in the salt, pepper and parmesan, before rubbing in the butter. Coat the dried seaweed in a little extra flour and incorporate before adding in the wet mixture to form a sticky dough.

It’s very wet at this point and hard to handle, so shaping them direct onto your pre-heated tray, now lined with baking parchment, can be tricky but not impossible. The aim is to get roughly the same sized scones. We got a slightly mis-shaped seven out of this mixture, but you should get 8 or 10 of uniform-ish size. If feeling a little unsure, use a ladle to help with accuracy and uniformity. Towards the end of cooking, slather in the mustard glaze, or just use a little beaten egg for more traditional style.

Bake at 200°C for 10 minutes, then check. Go as far as 20 minutes if need be. Everyone’s oven differs. We sprinkled on some sesame seeds about five minutes before the scones were taken out.

These are perfect when crowned with some room temperature, fresh salted butter while still warm. We also had them with scrambled eggs a day or two after. The sheer ease of this recipe is a delight as once it’s all incorporated into the bowl, it’s basically just plonked in splodges on a baking sheet and leave the oven to do the rest – express sconeage! 

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