It felt so right to just hang-out outside, with no agenda, making the most of this mild winter. The kids so easily immerse themselves in nature, free of time and space. We all felt rejuvenated and relaxed, a Simple Sunday; instead of children bouncing off walls at home, and the perfect contrast to the usual weekday rushing.

We spent 4 hours playing in the gardens, snacking on our delicious honey scones, and warming our selves with hot liquorice and cinnamon tea.

It was all so simple, no fuss and that’s the key!

Why do I always feel a need to fill my schedule, even on the weekends? The truth is it’s hard to just stop and play. 

Sure, Simplicity is right on trend now with fancy words such as the Danish Hygge. But I feel I don’t need to look any further than my own Irish childhood to connect with simplicity and coziness: to days spent outside; to the open fire; and to the smell of freshly baked scones.

So here is a simple recipe to start off your Simple Sunday, and to fill your house with the delicious smell of effortless baking! These scones have no processed sugar and I find the fennel seeds gives a lovely, slightly liquoricey extra kick to them.

I like to use spelt flour in my baking. I like the texture it gives and the fact it has less gluten and more protein in it. Spelt is an ancient wheat grain and remains unaffected by concepts such as ‘agribusiness’, ‘cross-breeding,’  and ‘genetically modified’ – words that have come to dominate our modern food supply.

Spelt flour is a lot more expensive, but you can easily use regular flour in this recipe.

This recipe yields 16 roughly cut scones you could easily half this recipe. I like to do big batches to make the most out of my baking. They keep great in the freezer for 2 months for mid week office/school lunches.

Ingredients

300g wholewheat spelt flour

300g plain spelt flour and extra for dusting

2tsp bread soda

pinch of salt

1tbsp of fennel seeds (optional – I love the taste and also great to aid digestion)

50g butter at room temperature

400ml buttermilk (add more or less until you get the right consistency) extra for brushing on top

2 tbsp honey (We are a house of honey lovers but I will only like buy local honey, however, it’s been difficult sourcing honey at the farmers’ market. The bees have been in short supply between the weather and the lack of flowers.)

Sunflower or pumpkin seeds for sprinkling on top (optional)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C and dust a baking tray with flour.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, bread soda, salt.
  • Cut up the butter into cubes and rub into the dry ingredients, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. My kids love this part!
  • Mix the honey and buttermilk together in a jug. Don’t worry the honey remained quite gloopy for us but it came together in the dough.
  • Gradually pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and with a ‘claw’ like hand gently bring the dough together. A very gentle touch is key here. When making scones SIMPLICITY is the key, don’t over work the dough, especially when using spelt. You just want to bring it together.
  • Tip the dough out into a floured surface and gently pat down and shape to a roughly 3cm thickness. 
  • We cut into triangles, or you could use a small scone cutter.
  • Place onto the baking tray, brush with the extra buttermilk and sprinkle with seeds if using.
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Allow to cool …pack them up … fill your flask … and head out into the freedom of nature!!!

Enjoy the simplicity of being in nature, its right outside the door waiting for us!

Is mise le meas,

Richael

 

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