As promised here is a Soda Farl recipe. This is the one I use, although I haven’t made my own for quite some time. As they are a griddle bread, I always used to do them on the flat cooking plate of my range. Sadly though it died for the final time a few months ago, so I no longer have my marvellous Soda cooker!
Soda bread is one of Northern Ireland’s unique griddle breads, made fresh every morning to be eaten straight away or cooked until golden in an Ulster Fry. You should visit Northern Ireland or make your own to experience the yumminess. They are delicious with butter and homemade jam, or with savoury food such as smoked salmon, or thick dry-cured bacon.
450 g Soft (Plain) flour
7 g Bicarbonate of soda (1½ level teaspoon)
14 g Cream of tartar 20 g
Good vegetable or nut oil
300 ml Buttermilk
A hot plate/griddle or a heavy based pan. Makes 8 farls
1. Sieve all the dry ingredients 3-4 times into a bowl.
2. Make a well in the middle, add the buttermilk gradually, and bring the dough together. This recipe makes a soft dough, but the more buttermilk you incorporate, the better the bread tastes.
3. Turn out the dough onto a well floured wooden surface and give it a short, gentle kneading until you have a nice round shape.
4. Divide into two and knead both to form round balls again.
5. Roll these out until you have a fairly thick dough about 10” (25cm) in diameter and cut into quarters.
6. Preheat the griddle. To check the temperature, dust with flour. Once it starts to colour, brush off and turn the heat down. Your griddle is now ready.
7. Place the farls onto the griddle and once you have a good colour on one side (2-3 mins), flip over and cook for 5-10 minutes. The farls will rise into triangular pillows.
8. Test by pressing the middle, if they are still squidgy, you must flip over and bake out the ‘bone’ of raw dough.
9. Cool on racks covered with a damp tea towel to keep soft, or uncovered if you prefer a drier crust
This is what they end up looking like, simply slice them through the middle, pop them in the toaster and then smother them in butter and strawberry jam, sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy.