Irish Potato Farls Bread Recipe

 

Weekends are my time for experimenting with food and this morning I was looking to Northern Ireland for inspiration. Visiting Belfast last year and stopping by at St. George’s Market, there was a huge variety of potato farls on offer and I’ve been a fan ever since. Irish potato farls are simple ‘breads’ made from potatoes, flour, butter and salt. Try my potato farls bread recipe for a simple and comforting treat.

Potato farls bread
Potato farls – a Sunday morning treat

“The word farl literally means ‘fourths’: they are shaped from a circle of dough cut into quarters.” The Guardian

Potato Farls Bread Recipe

A simple recipe, success guaranteed. Have the potato breads with your cooked weekend breakfast or simply with butter.

Potato farl bread
Potato farl bread – I left the skins on the potatoes before mashing them, works perfectly

Potato Farls Ingredients

  • 1 kg floury potatoes
  • 50g butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 190g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Fresh thyme leaves (optional)

How To Make Potato Farls

Day 1

  1. The day/evening before you plan to make the potato farls, cook the potatoes and mash them with a potato ricer or regular potato masher.
  2. Add the butter and season to taste.
  3. Leave to cool, cover and place in the fridge overnight.

Day 2

  1. On the day of making the potato farls, add the flour (and thyme if using) to the mashed potatoes until well combined and smooth.
  2. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide in half.
  3. On a floured work surface (to prevent sticking), flatten the dough into a round shape. You can do this with your hands or with a rolling pin. The round should be approximately 5mm thick.
  4. Cut each circle into quarters.
  5. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot.
  6. Add the potato farls in batches (use a dough scraper if they stick to the surface), and fry for four to five minutes on each side, or until golden-brown on both sides. I don’t use extra butter to do this.
  7. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Irish potato farls can turn your breakfast into something extra special but if you are looking for other breakfast options, take a look at these:

 

White bloomer bread recipe

 

If you are new to baking bread, here is a simple recipe for an easy white sandwich bread bloomer, a great recipe for beginners in bread making. This basic white bloomer bread recipe is guaranteed to spark your love for bread baking. Perfect for families with the need for a constant supply of fresh sandwich bread. No need to buy the industrial pre-sliced loaf that comes with added processing aids, emulsifiers or preservatives and is made far too fast with too much yeast. Take note that only four ingredients (flour, water, salt and yeast or natural leaven) are required to make bread.

White bloomer bread
White bloomer bread

Why bake at home?

Here are some reasons why you might want to venture into baking your own bread at home.

  • You’d like to eat bread based on the four basic bread baking ingredients, knowing exactly what’s in it and allowing it sufficient time to rise with a small amount of yeast
  • You want to fill the house with the smell of freshly baked bread – rather than the bin with plastic wrapping
  • You’d like to bake homemade bread that’s perfect for sandwiches and toast in the morning
  • You want – like my brother in law – to bake the very best vehicle for your PB&J sandwiches
  • Or you simply can’t be bothered to go to the store/supermarket for bread

Equipment

Here is all the equipment you’ll need to make a basic white bread bloomer:

Ingredients

The quantities below are for a 1.3kg loaf tin (baking a 1.3kg white bloomer bread), but they are easy to adjust for other bread tin sizes.  Ensure that the total weight of the loaf adds up to the volume of your loaf tin.

The dough hydration of the loaf is at 64% (calculated by dividing the water content of 480g into the 750g of flour).

  • 750g strong white wheat flour – get the best strong white wheat flour you can buy, preferably organic
  • 480g water, tepid
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 13g salt
  • No need to add sugar or butter or milk or oil as suggested in many recipes – keep it simple
White bloomer
White bloomer

How to make bloomer bread

  1. Combine all ingredients in the large mixing bowl and – with your hands – form a rough dough
  2. With your dough scraper, turn out the rough dough onto a clean working surface and knead by hand for at least 10 minutes until the dough has become elastic and smooth. Have a jug of water next to you when kneading and wet your hands every now and then to keep the dough well hydrated.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and place back into the bowl, cover with the lid and leave to rest for about 45 minutes at room temperature. During this time, the dough should grow in volume significantly.
  4. Punch down the dough and shape into a loaf which fits into the loaf tin well.
  5. Place into the loaf tin and cover with a plastic bag, leaving room for the dough to rise at the top, so you avoid the dough sticking to the plastic.
  6. Leave to proof for 1 hour or so until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200°C for at least 15 minutes.
  8. Place the loaf tin (without the plastic bag) in the oven (on a shelf that leaves ample room at the top for the bread’s “oven spring”).
  9. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180°C and bake for another 35 minutes.
  10. Cool the white bloomer bread loaf on a wire rack.