Today’s recipe is for one of my very favorite things in the world: Irish Soda Farls. If you have never tried this delicious bread, you are so missing out. They are great sliced in half, then toasted and smothered in butter, or fried in some bacon fat (along with some bacon rashers and eggs for breakfast). They are kind of a variation on Soda Bread and, in my opinion, even more delicious. It is also my opinion that homemade versions don’t taste exactly like the ones you get in Northern Ireland, but it’s definitely not disappointing.
Preparation Time: 5-10 min | Cooking time: 15 min | Serves: 8 farls | Spice level: 0
What you’ll need:
- 450g all purpose flour (plus extra for dusting, etc)
- 1 carton of buttermilk (284ml, usually)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
- A pinch of salt
- A drizzle of vegetable oil
- Let me start by saying that not everyone adds oil or fat to this, so you can skip the oil drizzle if you want. I find it helps getting the dough together though.
- Add the salt and baking soda to the flour and sift into a large bowl. If you think of skipping this step, don’t. This is a case where actually sifting the flour makes a huge difference in the final result. You can even do it twice.
- Gradually add the buttermilk and incorporate everything until you get a somewhat sticky dough.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it until you have a nice ball.
- Divide the dough in half and work on the separate halves now. Roll the dough into a fairly thick circle with a diameter of about 20cm.
- Cut the circle into farls (quarters).
- Warm up a lightly floured heavy skillet or frying pan until the flour starts turning brownish. At this stage, dust off the flour and place the farls in the pan.
- Turn the heat down and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for about 5-7 minutes. They will rise and be all fluffy and nice.
- Once done, cool down in a rack, wrapped in a clean tea towel. Repeat with the other part of the dough.
- You can slice them in half and toast them, or you can fry them.