These buns were once very popular in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and the west coast of Scotland, but they are hard to find today. They are similar to scones and rock cakes. I found a recipe in
Wells does not decorate the top of the buns, but the buns people remember from the last 50 years all have either a topping of small sugar nibs or currants, or a combination of the two. I prefer to decorate the buns, as they look far more interesting with the topping.
The Northern Irish women with whom I spoke reminisced about the Paris buns from their childhood. Perhaps this is also the reason the
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and knead it into the dough.
Add half of the buttermilk and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix it into the dough, then add the rest of the buttermilk and the currants.
Divide the dough into four pieces and shape them into very rough balls without kneading. Don’t be tempted to roll neat balls – just pat the dough together with your hands or two forks and leave it rough to give a nice effect when the buns are baked. Place the buns on the baking tray.
Brush the buns with the egg wash, sprinkle with the sugar nibs and/or a couple of currants and
These buns are best when they are still a little warm, and they’re best eaten on the day they’re baked.
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