Almost two years ago, one of my friends and her husband moved from the Midwest to Ireland. She had thought about living there for many years, and although it was difficult for them to leave their families and friends in the US behind, it was so inspiring to see her turn her big dream into a reality.
However, with her in Ireland, it made talking to her a bit harder than usual… We couldn’t text back and forth the way we used to! Eventually, we finally figured out a rhythm that worked for us with a combination of Snapchat and FaceTime. Thank goodness for the internet and modern technology!
As two big foodies, about half of our conversations seem to revolve around recipes, our blogs, and entrepreneurship in general. Even though we’re thousands of miles apart, it’s still so nice for each of us to have someone to lean on for advice and support — and who understands the struggles of major recipe testing fails!
During one of our first few FaceTime sessions, I asked her what she thought about the food options in Ireland and the differences between those and what we found here in the US. She immediately exclaimed, “I miss Ranch dressing!!” which made both of us nearly keel over from laughter.
Apparently… Even though the bottles look exactly the same, Ranch dressing in Ireland tastes incredibly disappointing and nothing like the US-based classic. She even tried buying the little seasoning packets to make her own at home, but those were only marginally better. And as a staple in her kitchen, she was going nuts over the lack of decent Ranch!
But otherwise, she shared, most of the Irish foods and groceries tasted great, and she loved how easy it was for her to find great gluten-free options, including for things like crackers and pasta. With her gluten intolerance, that was a huge deal and one of the big selling points of Ireland… Along with their amazing scenery and friendly culture.
Yet recently, she did complain about one more teensy tiny thing… She hates raisins, and seemed like the Irish will put them in just about any and all of their baked treats!
I had to laugh again… I absolutely love raisins, especially in my baked goodies, so that sounded perfectly delicious to me!
And as a result of that conversation, I decided to whip up a batch of these super easy Healthy Raisin Irish Soda Bread Scones! They’re incredibly simple to make. You just need 1 bowl, 5 ingredients, and a few minutes — plus there’s no yeast or kneading involved! (No butter, oil, eggs, dairy, refined flour or sugar too!)
Even so, these healthy Irish soda bread scones are really moist and fluffy, and I love the pop of natural sweetness from the raisins. (I also have a secret trick that makes them incredibly plump and sweet!) These would be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day — or just any ol’ day you’re craving bread — and they’re 86 calories!
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY RAISIN IRISH SODA BREAD SCONES
Let’s go over how to make these healthy raisin Irish soda bread scones! As the next installment in my growing list of super easy one-bowl recipes… Grab your favorite mixing bowl, and add some white whole wheat flour!
In case you’re new around here, or in case you’re unfamiliar with it, white whole wheat flour actually exists… And it’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour! Instead, it’s made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They both have the same health benefits (like extra fiber!), but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the extra moist texture of your healthy raisin Irish soda bread scones shine!
Just remember, it’s very important to measure the flour correctly, using this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own!) Too much flour will make your soda bread scones dry, rather than moist and tender. I pinky promise it’s worth taking a few extra moments to properly measure your flour!
Next, you’ll need baking soda and salt. It’s impossible to make healthy raisin Irish soda bread scones without the baking soda… Because that’s where the “soda” part of the recipe name comes from!
Bonus: Baking soda is the only leavening agent in this easy Irish soda bread recipe! You don’t need any yeast… So these little gems are literally the easiest bread rolls you’ll ever make!
After making a well in the center of your dry ingredients, you’ll pour in milk and plain white vinegar. Traditional Irish soda bread recipes usually call for buttermilk, but that’s something I rarely keep on hand… And I’m guessing you’re the same way! So to make life easier for both of us, I opted for “homemade” buttermilk made with milk and vinegar.
Nerd Alert… The acid in the vinegar is what reacts with the baking soda (a base). When they react, they create air bubbles (specifically carbon dioxide). Those air bubbles make your healthy raisin Irish soda bread scones rise, and they also help create that incredibly moist and tender texture!
For the milk… I actually used unsweetened vanilla almond milk! Many of my family and friends are lactose-intolerant, and this is one of their favorite non-dairy milk options. (I’m also obsessed with unsweetened cashew milk!) By using almond milk, these healthy raisin Irish soda bread scones are dairy-free and vegan (because they’re eggless too!).
Tip: Any milk will work, so just use whatever you have on hand!
And finally, for the last ingredient, you’ll need raisins. But before you add them to your mixing bowl, I have two tricks for you! First, cut them into smaller bits. (I usually do halves or thirds.) This smaller size allows your healthy Irish soda bread scones to bake evenly, and it also means you get a few pieces of sweet, juicy raisins in every bite!
Second… Hydrate your raisins! Many years ago, I started doing this for every recipe I ever baked with raisins, and it makes a huge difference in their taste and texture. Hydrating your raisins makes them so sweet, plump, and juicy!
It’s super simple to do. Just add your raisins to a microwave-safe bowl, cover them with water, and place a lid or plastic wrap on top. Microwave that on high for 1 minute; then let the raisins sit while you measure and mix together the other ingredients. When you’re ready to add them to the bowl, just drain off the remaining water. So easy!
It’s almost time to bake! Once you’ve rolled the dough into 12 little balls, flatten each one a little bit. Next, using a sharp knife, cut a + into the top. Don’t cut all the way through the dough — just most of the way! This allows steam to escape while they bake in the oven.
As a personal preference, I love sprinkling my healthy raisin Irish soda bread scones with a bit of this flaky sea salt right before sliding them into the oven. I think it makes them look a little prettier and fancier… And I love how that bright pop of salt pairs with the sweet juicy raisins!
Then set a timer and…
Enjoy your super easy, super moist, super yummy bread rolls! (And if you figure out how to stop after one… Please let me know your secret!! 😉 ) Then when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy raisin Irish soda bread scones!
Healthy Raisin Irish Soda Bread Scones
- 2 ¼ cups (270g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup + 3 tbsp (165mL) unsweetened vanilla almond milk (see Notes!)
- 2 tbsp (30mL) distilled white vinegar
- ¼ cup (40g) raisins, diced and hydrated (see Notes!)
- optional: flaky sea salt (for finishing – highly recommended!)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center. Pour in the milk and vinegar. Stir together until the flour is fully incorporated. Fold in the raisins.
- Working with a small section of dough at a time, shape into a ball. Place onto the prepared baking sheet, and flatten to about ¾” tall. (If the dough sticks to your hands, moisten your fingers and palms with a bit of water in between shaping each scone!) Once all of the scones have been shaped, score a + into the top of each one with a sharp knife, slicing about halfway through the dough (not all the way through!). If using the flaky sea salt, sprinkle a generous amount on top of each scone.
- Bake at 425°F for 14-17 minutes or until the outsides are crusty and the insides feel firm to the touch. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Healthy Classic Irish Soda Bread Scones
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Whole Wheat Rolls
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Cornbread Muffins
♡ Healthier Cinnamon Apple Beer Bread
♡ Healthy One-Bowl Cornbread