- Root vegetables
Potato bread farls are fried in a little olive oil to make one of the essential components of an Ulster fry-up! They taste great on their own with a little salt, or with a fried egg on top.
County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK
60 people made this
- 4 prepared potato bread farls
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed
- 1 pinch salt
MethodPrep:2min ›Cook:5min ›Ready in:7min
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Gently fry potato farls for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Season with salt and serve immediately.
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Potato Farls for a classic Ulster Fry
It’s a truth universally acknowledged, that potatoes were invented in Ireland. At least it’s universally acknowledged across the entire island, which makes it probably the only fact everybody will readily agree on. Next to Iceland, with only 320.000 inhabitants, Northern Ireland must be the second smallest country in the competition, seeing that Northern Ireland itself has a population of only 1.8 million.
This does make you wonder why such a small country can produce such great sporting successes, and the explanation for this lies in the fact that the Northern Irish are probably the healthiest people in the world. Surprised? You shouldn’t be, despite mainstream media keep suggesting the Japanese or Icelandic people to be the healthiest. The problem with these statistics is that they place far too much importance on life expectancy, which is, I have to admit, far higher in those countries. But I am telling you that if the average Icelander or Japanese had to live on a typical Northern Irish diet, they wouldn’t last very long.
Classic Northern Irish cuisine is based on the premise that food has to be fried, and that it needs to contain potatoes. Anything else is just wrong. Or a dessert.
Apart from sporting heroes (George Best, Rory McIlroy and Barry McGuigan, to name just a few), there’s a lot more to discover in ‘Norn Irn’, as it is pronounced correctly. If you’ve never heard about the beautiful Antrim coast, here’s a taster:
You might recognise it from Game of Thrones, which was filmed in various locations across the province. Don’t forget Belfast’s historic St George’s Market, where you can buy fresh fish and seafood fresh from the boats.
While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, as the name says, it’s where the Titanic was built.
And if you’ve had enough, you can always enjoy the stunning views of Scotland across the Mull of Kintyre:
But the obvious highlight of any trip is the traditional Ulster Fry, a classic dish that manages to combine the two staples of Northern Irish cuisine, fat and potatoes, into a breakfast so substantial that you will never ever have to eat anything again.
For this dish you will need eggs, sausages and rashers as you would for any fried breakfast. In addition, a few slices of black pudding – a euphemism if there ever was one: the prosaic Germans would call it ‘blood sausage’ – and tomatoes, the latter need to be grilled or fried in order to render them edible.
But the crowning glory of any decent Ulster fry are freshly made potato farls, which, from an Ulster perspective, are a marriage made in heaven: fried bread, made from potatoes.
With a breakfast like this, anything is possible.
Potato Farls (serves 4)
- 1 kg floury potatoes (ca. 800g when peeled)
- 100-150g plain flour
- 50g butter
- salt, to taste
- vegetable oil for frying
Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks, then boil them for ca. 20 minutes or until they are soft. Drain them thoroughly, ideally leave them in a sieve for a few minutes, before mashing them up.
With the mash still warm, add the butter, some salt and around 100g of the flour and mix it lightly with your fingers. You want it do come together to a soft and fluffy dough, so don’t overwork it. Depending on your potatoes, you might have to add more flour.
Split the dough into two parts and roll them out on a floured surface, to a thickness of around 1 cm / a bit less than 1/2 an inch. Cut the pieces into 4 wedges.
At this point you should heat your grill to grill the bacon and sausages, if you are going for the ‘healthy’ option. Alternatively, start warming a serving platter in the oven to keep the bread warm while you fry everything else.
Heat the oil in a griddle or a flat frying pan. Carefully lift the farls into the hot fat and fry them for around 3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown.
Keep them warm while you fry the remaining ingredients: sausages, bacon rashers, black pudding and some tomato halves.
Place cubed potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender a paring knife should slide in and out easily when pierced.
Turn off heat and drain the potatoes in a colander. Add the drained potatoes back into the pot and place back onto the still-warm burner. Allow residual heat to evaporate any excess water and moisture from the potatoes. This prevents the need to add any additional flour.
Mash the potatoes until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and cayenne until thoroughly blended.
Transfer the warm, mashed potatoes into the dry ingredients. Sprinkle the blotted, grated sweet potatoes over the mashed potatoes. Drizzle the melted butter over the entire mixture. Gently mix together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until a rough dough forms.
Knead the dough a few times until the dough is smooth. Place dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide dough into four. With your hands or a lightly floured rolling pin, pat or roll each section of dough into a 7-inch circle to a ⅛- to ¼-inch thickness. Cut circles into fourths.
Heat a dry nonstick skillet on medium heat until hot. Lightly flour both sides of each farl before placing into the hot pan. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Repeat process with remaining farls.
Place finished farls onto a baking sheet in a preheated oven (200°F / 93°C) as you cook the rest to keep warm.
Serve warm with butter.
Irish potato bread – Traditional Farls
Do you remember me waxing lyrical about the best ever Irish breakfast I ever had in Cork? Well, apart from the delicious potato omelette, there were also these square flat breads called ‘Farls’, which also tasted great. At the time I didn’t know they were made mainly from potatoes and fried instead of ‘baked’ like a traditional bread recipes.
When I came back, I wanted to re-create some of the recipes that I ate during my travels and this traditional Irish potato bread is my next recipe.
Irish potato farls have a fascinating background history. The name ‘farl’ comes originally from Scotland and means ‘a quarter’. Traditionally, this potato-based bread would be baked (fried) on a skillet or heavy-bottomed pan. You would roll out the dough and once in a skillet you would divide it to 4 quarters, which made it easier to turn around and to share with your family. Or maybe it was also about everyone getting a fair share of the potato bread, as this was a food of the working classes and there was never enough of bread.
I was also interested to find out that because Ireland’s weather climate wasn’t particularly good for growing wheat suitable for making yeasted bread. Most wheats that were successfully grown in Ireland had a significantly lower amount of gluten than for example wheat flours grown in Canada (which is famous for it’s extra strong gluten flour).
This ment that the flour (very similar to plain or all-purpose flour) could be baked with just a soda (or baking powder) and didn’t required yeast to rise. Baking bread or rolls was much quicker and easier as people didn’t need an oven to bake their bread and managed with a skilled over an open fire or a large pot with a lid for soda bread.
The potato addition to this traditional bread is also quite self-explanatory. At one point, potatoes were plentiful, cheap and grown pretty much everywhere in Ireland. Flour was still more expensive than potatoes (and more complex to process and prepare), so potatoes made the bread to go much further. The traditional soda bread (as we know it now) wasn’t as popular as the potato farls before 1845. But in the middle of 19 century, Ireland’s potato crop was damaged by potato blight and people had to think about a different alternative for their bread.
Recipe: Irish Potato Bread
Potato Bread! The most satisfying of foods and a combination of two of my favourite things, potatoes and bread in one beautiful carbohydrate extravaganza.
This is what I crave when I want a little slice of home. A soft, savoury farl toasted and spread with lashings of salty butter and a big mug of tea and I could be back in my Mum’s kitchen after a big night out devouring my Great Auntie May’s homemade potato bread and catching up on all the night’s craic with my siblings and the miscellaneous friends who were always hanging out at our house. Potato bread is perfect for soaking up the alcohol after a night on the town but equally the ideal hangover food – lightly fried and served piping hot as part of a delicious (but heart attack inducing) Ulster Fry.
Potato bread is incredibly popular in Northern Ireland and you can buy it ready-made in every bakery or corner shop, but nothing beats homemade and it is super easy to make, especially if you have leftover mash.
This makes four farls (i.e. one round that you cut into four) but may I suggest you double (or even triple) the recipe as I bet these will disappear pretty quickly and even if they don’t they will keep for several days in the fridge or you can pop them in the freezer.
50g plain flour (plus a bit extra for rolling out)
Peel your potatoes and cut into big chunks and put into a pan of boiling water. Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes (or until they are soft through). You want your potatoes to be soft so you can mash them easily but not too soft as they will have absorbed lots of water and this will make the mixture very loose, sticky and difficult to work with. Once the potatoes are cooked drain them and then pop them back in the pan over the heat for thirty seconds or so just to dry them off. You really want the potatoes to be nice and dry and floury.
Mash the potatoes until smooth and then transfer to a mixing bowl and add in the salt and butter. Continue mashing until smooth. You will probably be hungry by now but try to hold off scoffing the buttery mash.
Stir in the flour until it is really well mixed. You may need a couple of tablespoons of milk to loosen the mixture, although I find I usually don’t need the milk. Once you have mixed it altogether you should have a nice smooth dough.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out in a circle until it is about 1cm thick. Cut the dough into quarters (to make farls).
Now the dough is ready for cooking. For this I use an old fashioned griddle (or girdle as they are confusingly called in Scotland), which is what an Irish mammy would have traditionally used to cook the potato farls over the fire. Unless you have one of these bad boys lurking about at the back of your kitchen cupboard I suggest you use a heavy non-stick frying pan, which works just as well, perhaps even better. I’m sure the Irish mammies would have been delighted to have been given a non-stick frying pan.
Heat up your griddle or non-stick frying pan until it is quite hot and then lightly flour the surface and quickly get the farls on to cook. Cook for two to three minutes or until the farls are golden brown and them flip them over to cook the other side. You don’t need any oil. Potato farls should be dry fried, although if you are using a cast iron griddle like me you may want to season the pan by swiping on a layer of oil with a bit of kitchen roll before heating it up to season the pan. As your pan heats up, especially if you are doing several batches, you will probably find the farls cook more quickly so keep an eye on them. Once they are golden brown on both sides take the bread off the heat and place on a wire cooling rack.
Hurrah! Your potato farls are ready to eat. Pop them in the toaster and spread with butter and a grind of black pepper, and if you are feeling indulgent some thin slices of mature cheddar or smoked salmon. In my opinion a perfect snack. Alternatively you can fry them in butter or oil (or as my Mum does a combination of both) and serve them for breakfast with bacon, eggs and the other accompaniments of an Ulster Fry. I’ll have to do a post on that soon.
Our Best Irish Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day has changed quite a bit since it was made an official feast day in the early 17th century, especially with the Irish diaspora all over the world, but it’s still a celebration of Irish heritage and culture. And what better way to celebrate than with classic Irish food and drink? Corned beef and cabbage is practically synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day these days, and our next-level recipe teams impossibly tender salted meat with delicately poached winter vegetables beyond the usual cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. Or enjoy potatoes and cabbage in a different incarnation: mashed together and enriched with cream in colcannon. You also can’t go wrong with a steaming pot of Irish stew studded with slow-cooked chunks of lamb. Seeking a breakfast recipe for St. Patrick’s Day? Look no further than this loaf of superlative soda bread—it’s spiked with Irish whiskey and espresso powder—or this batch of potato farls satisfyingly fried in bacon fat. And be sure to top everything off with Irish coffee or Irish cream (or if you feel like bucking tradition, maybe even a green cocktail). Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite classic Irish recipes for all your St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
Corned Beef and CabbageJuicy, succulent corned beef meets delicately poached winter vegetables in this new classic. Get the recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage »
ColcannonLeave it to the potato-loving Irish to dream up colcannon, spuds mashed with finely chopped cabbage and enriched with lots of cream. Get the recipe for Colcannon »
Irish StewIn this traditional warming stew from the Emerald Isle, lamb shoulder is rendered spoon-tender by a simmer and then a long, slow bake with plenty of filling potatoes and aromatic carrots and onions. For bright color and a bit of verdant sweetness, green peas are tossed in toward the end of the cooking. Get the recipe for Irish Stew »
Haddock and Cheddar Mash
Irish Bean and Sausage StewAt Gubbeen Farm, a 250-acre coastal plot of land in West Cork, an Irish twist on French cassoulet results in a flavorful, brothy stew of lima beans and thin Irish pork sausages. Get the recipe for Irish Bean and Sausage Stew »
Irish Coffee Soda BreadEspresso powder adds a jolt to this sleepy soda bread. We love it as toast for a breakfast sandwich or to mop up rich sauces alongside a dinner roast. Get the recipe for Irish Coffee Soda Bread »
Irish BarmbrackThis honey-glazed breakfast bread is packed with dried fruit. Get the recipe for Irish Barmbrack »
Irish Potato BreadThese squares of crispy potato flatbread are similar to potato farls, the fried potato bread that’s a traditional part of the Northern Irish breakfast known as an Ulster Fry. Get the recipe for Irish Potato Bread »
Irish Brown Bread Ice Cream with Butterscotch SauceGet the recipe for Irish Brown Bread Ice Cream with Butterscotch Sauce »
Irish Coffee RiffDrew Hamm at Henry’s in Chicago makes a toasty spin on the traditional Irish coffee by adding Flor de Cana rum and a cinnamon syrup to the usual Irish whiskey base. Get the recipe for Irish Coffee Riff »
Irish Cream Glaze
Irish CoffeeNative Dubliner Cathal Armstrong, chef of Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia, recommends using Red Breast or Paddy Irish whiskey in this pick-me-up that’s a classic, simple combination of coffee, whiskey, brown sugar, and soft-peaked whipped cream. Get the recipe for Irish Coffee »
Brown Soda BreadA traditional Irish bread is simple to make and a favorite on dining tables. Get the recipe for Brown Soda Bread »
- Medium Saucepan
- Vegetable Peeler
- Chopping Knife and Chopping Board
- Sieve or Ricer
- Medium Frying Pan
This wonderful Irish breakfast is simple, quick, and so tasty you won’t even believe it. Here’s how you make my potato cakes (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):
- Peel, chop, and weigh the potatoes.
- In a medium saucepan over medium/low heat, steam or boil the cubed potatoes until tender, roughly 20-25 minutes. This makes them much, much easier to work with, too!
- Once tender remove the potatoes from the pot and place them in a sieve over a bowl. Allow them to hang out here for 5 minutes to cool slightly and to let some of the moisture evaporate.
- While still hot, pass the potatoes through the sieve. If you don’t have a sieve you can use a ricer or masher to mash the potatoes either.
- Into the potatoes, add in the flour, salt, pepper, and melted butter. Stir the dough together until it forms a ball. Like any dough take care not to over mix it so you get fluffy Farls.
- Flatten the dough into an 8 inch round disc onto a lightly floured surface. Using a large knife cut the disc into 6 pieces.
- Melt a big knob of butter in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat until bubbling. Carefully add the potato farls and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until a lovely golden brown. Flip them over and cook for another 4-5 minutes on the other side. They should be crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle.
- Serve immediately while hot as part of a traditional Irish breakfast or simply on their own.
The perfect tattie scones
(Makes 24 triangles)
500g floury potatoes, unpeeled
125g plain flour, plus extra to dust
Put the potatoes in a pan, cover with water, salt generously and bring to the boil. Simmer until cooked through, then drain well and return to the hot pan for a minute to dry off. Peel off the skins as soon as you can handle them.
Add 40g butter and mash, then stir in the flour and season to taste. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick, then cut around a side plate to shape. Dust lightly with flour and prick all over with a fork.
Heat the remaining butter in a griddle or large heavy based frying pan over a medium-high heat and then fry until golden on both sides (about 3-5 minutes). Cut into triangles and serve immediately, or cool in a tea towel for later.
Tattie scones, totties, farls or fadges: whatever you call them, how do you like them? And, at the risk of starting a ruck, is the full Scottish the best breakfast in Britain?
Fried potato bread farls recipe - Recipes
Irish potato recipes have been a staple in the Irish kitchen for centuries.
Recipes on this Page
|Champ||Boxty (Irish Potato Griddle Cakes)|
|Dublin Coddle||Boxty Too|
|Irish Potato Casserole||Irish Potato Stuffing|
|Irish Potato Farls||Irish Potato Soup|
|Potato and Onion Skillet Fry|
Visitors to Ireland are often surprised when they're served several different varieties of potatoes in one meal - baked, boiled, fried, roasted, mashed - you name it!
Another thing that surprises many first-time visitors to Ireland is that they serve potatoes with every meal. including breakfast!
The traditional Irish breakfast, called the "Ulster fry" in Northern Ireland, is the biggest and the best meal of the day in Ireland. This is the Ultimate Breakfast - a plate overflowing with fried eggs, bacon, sausage, potato cakes, soda bread, and black pudding.
Most accommodations include this in their rates, so take advantage and fuel up for a full day of touring Ireland. It's one of the world's best culinary bargains!
You can bring home a taste of Ireland trying some of my favorite Irish potato recipes in your kitchen.
Let's get started with one of the easiest, most essentially Irish potato recipes favored by people from all over the world.
Simple and inexpensive, yet warm and filling.
Champ is unquestionably one of the most delicious side dishes ever created in Ireland.
- 4 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 pound green onions (scallions), chopped
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces butter
- 4 slices bacon (In Ireland, they use "rashers", which is fantastic 'bacon' that is 99% meat, not fat!)
- 4 large sliced potatoes
- 4 large sausages
- Black pepper
- 2 onions, sliced
An old Irish poem says:
Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty in the pan,
If you can't make boxty,
You'll never get a man
Boxty is a simple, easy, and tasty Irish potato recipe.
It's wonderful served with a tart apple sauce. This Irish potato recipe is also traditionally prepared as part of an "Ulster Fry", the hearty Irish breakfast, with loads of bacon, fried sausage, fried eggs, black pudding, and fresh Irish soda bread.
Boxty (Irish Potato Griddle Cakes)
- 1/2 pound raw potato
- 1/2 pound cooked mashed potato
- 1/2 pound plain flour
- Milk (as needed, see directions)
- 1 egg
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups freshly mashed potato (with milk)
Irish Potato Casserole
- 1 1/2 pounds (4 to 5 medium) potatoes, peeled & diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled & sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
Irish Potato Stuffing
- 4 1/2 large potatoes, boiled or steamed and coarsely mashed, not overcooked
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 large chopped onion
- 2 large cooking apples, chopped
- Good handful of herbs: chopped sage and thyme are great
- Salt and pepper
Irish Potato Farls
- 1 1/4 pounds potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
- 2 teaspoons melted butter
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons of vegetable or canola oil
This Irish potato recipe is a great way to use leftover baked potatoes!
Potato and Onion Skillet Fry
- 1 large onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 medium potatoes, baked (or boiled) and cooled
- Salt and pepper to tasteLast but not least, the Essential Irish Potato Recipe Collection would not be complete without a simple, hearty soup in the mix.
Slightly Indianised Irish Potato Cakes (or Farls)
You’ll see many slight variations on the basic spuds + flour + butter formula for potato cakes.
My Ma says she would never really have used measurements for potato cakes because the amount of flour absorbed would depend on the starchiness of the potatoes, so enough was added to make a workable dough. The amount of flour added is also a matter of taste – cakes made with less flour will be moister and probably rolled more thickly. The amount of butter is a taste thing too. You can reduce the amount used here and replace with a little milk if you like.
To spice the potato cakes, I added a little cayenne pepper and some toasted cumin seeds. For traditional potato cakes, just leave them out.