Irish potato bread, often referred to as farls, is a culinary treasure that embodies the heart and soul of Ireland. These simple yet satisfying flatbreads, crafted from a harmonious blend of mashed potatoes, flour, and a touch of butter, hold a special place in Irish households.
The term “farl” originates from the Scots word. (1715–25; contraction of fardel a three-cornered cake, originally, the 4th part of a round cake (Middle English ferdell, representing Old English fēortha dǣl fourth part) for a division). Traditionally, these breads are quartered before cooking on a griddle, creating a visually appealing and deliciously textured result. Indulge in their goodness, whether generously slathered with butter or served alongside a hearty Irish breakfast
The history of Irish potato bread is a journey through time and taste. Originating from the resourceful kitchens of Ireland, where potatoes were abundant and creativity thrived, this bread emerged as a staple in the Irish diet. Its roots extend to a time when necessity sparked culinary innovation. As the humble spud took center stage, Irish households transformed them into these beloved farls, an embodiment of sustenance and comfort. Interestingly, these flatbreads have evolved to reflect not only historical adaptations but also regional variations. From the rugged landscapes of Northern Ireland to the charming corners of Dublin, each region adds its unique twist.
Across Ireland’s diverse landscapes, regional variations of Irish potato breads delight the palate with nuanced flavours and textures. In Northern Ireland, you’ll find “potato bread” griddled to perfection, often made with a mix of mashed and grated potatoes. In contrast, the southern counties embrace “boxty,” a traditional variation made with raw grated potatoes for a heartier bite. Dublin’s offerings may include herbs or spring onions, infusing a burst of freshness into the beloved farl. The variations extend beyond ingredients to techniques – some prefer to pan-fry while others embrace oven-baking for a distinct texture.
Serve with Irish Stew
Irish Potato Bread Farls / Cakes
- 5-6 potatoes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 30 g lard - or butter
- 1 egg
- salt - to taste
- Cook the potatoes in salted water and mash them into a puree.
- Add half of the flour and butter to the mashed potatoes and mix.
- In another bowl, mix the egg with the milk, then gradually add this mixture to the potato mixture, alternating with the remaining flour. Add salt.
- Mix until you obtain a smooth and soft dough.
- Now, divide the dough into small portions and shape each portion into balls, then flatten them to about 2 cm thickness.
- Cook in a greased pan with a very small amount of oil, about 2-3 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown. You can also cook them under the grill.