Banana scones

Are you single? Do you live on your own? Then you probably have some yellowing milk going sour in your fridge. And bananas going black in your fruit bowl. Which means you are ideally placed to take part in my second experiment in : Banana soda bread scones.

Using up chunky, curdled milk in soda bread is a trick I learned at Ballymaloe and one I’ve been grateful for in the past couple of months. Whether I buy 1 pint or 4, my fridge my consistently contains a couple of inches of lumpen, nicotine-hued dairy whiffing like damp feet and mould. Being able to turn it into bread makes me feel thrifty and ensures I have a ready supply of toast.

So as I shook and sniffed the dregs of a bottle of milk this weekend, I was struck with an idea. Soda bread is quick to make and just as quick to go stale, so perhaps a soda bread version of banana bread would have the toastability that Alistair is after. Admittedly it wouldn’t have the polenta crust Alistair also wants, but I was willing to forgo that in order to use up the reeking milk and the night-black bananas collapsing into fermenting pulpy heaps in the living room.

The result was a trayful of scones that are a comfort and joy on a cold morning, when they’re fresh from the oven and soaked in butter and honey. The next day you could just about get away with eating them cold, especially if you’re looking for a good workout for your jaw, but they’re better split and toasted under the grill.

Banana soda bread scones
Makes 6-7 scones


450g plain flour plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda (1/2 tsp if using measuring spoon)
2 tbsp caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling
2 medium ripe bananas (around 180g unpeeled), mashed
1 medium egg, beaten
100-150ml sour milk

1 Preheat the oven to 230°C/fan oven 210°C/gas mark 8. Dust a tray with a little flour.

2 Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a very large bowl. Stir in the sugar. Beat the banana, egg and 100ml sour milk together and pour it into the flour. Shape your hand into a stiff claw and stir it around the bowl, mixing the flour and milk and bringing it together to make a soft, not too sticky dough. If it’s not coming together, add a splash more milk (fresh milk will be fine if you’ve run out of sour milk, or a spoonful of yogurt will also work).

3 Turn the dough out onto a work surface dusted with flour. Wash and dry your hands and then gently pat the bread into a round about 21/2cm high. Stamp out scones with a 7cm round cutter, reshaping the dough trimmings as you go until it’s all used up. Place the on the baking tray and brush the tops with water. Sprinkle with sugar

4 Bake for 20 minutes or until the scones feel light and sound hollow when tapped. Cool on wire rack for a few minutes before serving with honey and butter.

Tagged with: BakingBanana breadBritishSoda bread

10 Responses to Experiments in banana bread 2: Banana soda bread scones

  1. alastair says:

    #rolls up sleeves…. puts on pinnie

  2. A mug of Earl Grey and a little bit of ricotta over the top and I’d be the happiest of campers. Love the idea of being able to use up spoiled milk like this- thank you!

  3. LexEat! says:

    Brilliant! Makes me want to deliberately let the milk go sour!

  4. Helen says:

    You can use up gone off milk?! This is a revelation. This would not happen in my house due to the extreme hardcore nature of my tea drinking. However I am interested and impressed. When you see those lumps plopping into your mixing bowl though, it doesn’t make you feel a little bit wrong?

  5. ginandcrumpets says:

    @alistair That pinny is going to get some work out this year, I cna promise you. let me know what you think!

    @Tori Ooh, ricotta. Good call.

    @LexEat! Sometimes I do deliberately let milk go sour so I can make soda bread, which is ridiculous but it does seem to make very good soda bread. Better than buttermilk, I think.

    @Helen I’ll admit that mixing up the lumpy, whiffy milk in a mixing bowl does make me feel very wrong. And a bit queasy. But I power through and get bread at the end, so it’s worth it.

  6. alastair says:


    once again, these are incredible. absolutely delicious. Although it turns out orange juice doesn’t curdle milk, so had to take a trek out into the cold to get a lemon! every day is a school day.

    Perfect with earl grey and as you say, honey and butter. and some evan christopher on the itunes! can’t wait till morning to try toasting them. if there are any left.

    thank you once again.

  7. Gillian says:

    Well, Gina and Alastair, yet again, as Alastair’s sister, I feel obliged and fired up ready to make this recipe, and yet again, I’m sure the three little nephew testers will give their honest opinion! Watch this space!
    PS Last night made WI soda bread with pumpkin and poppy seeds and soured milk “tasted quite strong!” You win some…..

  8. ginandcrumpets says:

    @Alistair Lesson learned re the orange juice! Glad you liked them toasted. Got to keep on though, haven’t I? Got to find that perfect polenta crusted banana bread for you.

    @Gillian Tasted quite strongly of sour milk? Like the sound of the seed combo, though. Let me know how you get on with these scones!

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