Irish Soda Farls

Farls? Yes, bread!


I know I have said before that there are some foods which are just more authentic when eaten with bread but my reason for making this up is actually for reasons of fusion.

Good excuse, anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

Why? Really why? Well, I cooked a fantastic brisket of beef on Sunday and predictably cooked way too much which is always welcome for cos lettuce and pulled beef wraps for lunch, but the left over gravy and uneaten beef on the plate was too much for me to throw away. I cannot abide waste.

Setting aside into a pan and adding in a half teaspoon each of cumin, coriander and chilli powder and a sprinkling of risotto rice, that'll do for a Beef Mulligatawny Soup for dinner on Monday night.

Many soups are accompanied by a starches - taking inspiration from those hot African soups, where a fufu ball is dropped into the middle, I did consider just that. Likewise, thinking of thick paratha or roti breads eaten alongside curry, I combined the two and came up Irish!

Yes, my mind works in mysterious ways ...

Soda Farls are potato breads. Combining potato with flour is about all there is to it. Potato is the starch and flour the filler. We can't use wheat flour, but we can use something like sorghum.

Sorghum is actually a pseudo-grain, so not a grain at all, and the flour is not at all glutenous, so you're not going to get the same texture as wheat flour dough. It will form a firm texture. Sorghum flour is used extensively on the Indian sub-continent where it is known as Juwar Flour.

Take one large potato, peel and boil. Mash and set aside to cool. This will weigh in at something like 8oz and perfect.

In a mixing bowl, rub 1oz or butter into 3oz of sorghum flour. Add a heaped teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt, a handful of chopped spring onions or leek and then the mashed potato and a couple of tablespoons of double cream. Most recipes will say milk, but cream is so much better.

Combine into a dough and roll out gently to make a half inch thick bread. Transfer to an ovenproof plate or dish and score lines across the diameter of the bread, not all the way through, but sufficient to divide up easily after cooking.

Bake in a pre-heated oven set to 200C for 30 minutes.

Serve out with butter lathered all over! The bread, not you, although that might be fun ... Valentine's Day tomorrow :)