Soda Farls, in Northern Ireland, are likely to be eaten as part of an Ulster Fry. They are usually fried and mixed with potato bread, sausages, bacon, eggs, black pudding and tomatoes when eaten as part of this breakfast favourite.

When making the Soda Farls, the dough is rolled out and flattened into a circle about eight inches in diameter and cut into four pieces (farls) as if slicing a cake. They are called farls because this is the term given to a triangular piece of baking.

After the soda bread dough is cut into farls, it is usually baked in a dry frying pan or on a griddle. Traditionally this was the quickest and easiest way to make a light snack for unexpected friends and family who dropped in for a bit of craic (good fun).

You can also eat them fresh with butter and jam. They are washed down well with a good mug of tea. The recipe, below, for farls can also be used to make soda bread or cake as well, which is more commonly eaten in Southern Ireland.

Recipe And Directions For Soda Farls

  • 450 g flour (cake flour works best)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 300 ml buttermilk

This recipe will produce four Soda farls, which is four servings.

  1. Preheat heavy based flat griddle, skillet or frying pan on medium to low heat.
  2. Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle in baking soda. Make a well shape in the centre, and pour in the buttermilk.
  3. Quickly mix the dough together and knead very lightly on a well floured bench. Make into a flattened circle, about 1/2 inch thick and cut into quarters (farls) with a floured knife.
  4. Sprinkle some flour over the base of the hot pan and cook the farls for 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Be careful not to overcook

Soda Farl Video Guide

Irish Soda Bread: Farl (Part 1)

Irish Soda Bread: Farl (Part 2)

I am so happy that Darina Allen put together this book about Irish Traditional Cooking. It paints a picture of a way of life that my Grandmother used to tell me about. Stories of teacakes cooked on the griddle, potato bread, real Irish stew and of course, champ!

In a thought provoking introduction, Allen describes the rising of so-called “fancy shop-bought things” and how this began the decline of traditional Irish recipes. What follows is a labour of love for Allen, a collection of over 300 recipes that reflect the Irish way of life, its farming heritage and cookery skills.

The book is complete with alluring and inspiring photography and notes. And having tried some of them, I can vouch that the recipes are easy and tasty.

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