My friend Theresa introduced me to Potato Farls while I was living in Ireland. I am eternally grateful to her! I LOVE Potato Farls. But what are they you might ask. Potato Farls are a type of bread where potato replaces a portion of the flour. Traditionally served with breakfast, they are pan-fried, usually in butter. Although they are more typically found in Ulster and Northern Ireland, we were still able to find them in the Republic where we were living. The type that we most commonly would buy were square pieces of potato bread, lightly floured and about 1 cm thick. They usually came in packs of four.
But let me tell you that technical definition does not do them justice. They are spectacularly tasty and will put most hash browns to shame! Don’t get me wrong, I love all potato dishes. But Potato Farls hold a special place in my heart. Of course when I came back to the States, Farls were scarce to say the least! So I had to figure out how to make some of my own. After searching about and quite a few attempts, I came up with a recipe that I’m very happy with. Mine are definitely different from the type found in Ireland that I was used to, but are indeed quite welcome in this farl-less land. Some of the differences between mine and the Irish variety are that I’ve added cheddar cheese to mine. I also cut mine out with a 2″ biscuit cutter, rather than sticking to the square shape. I’ve found that they are much crisper this way than either the square form or the triangle shape that you get when you cut a circle of dough into quarters. But feel free to shape these little gems anyway you like. I guarantee that you will love them any way they’re served up. These farls are very easy to make. You mix left-over mashed potatoes with some flour, salt and pepper and knead it until it forms a dough.
Then you roll it out to 1/4″ to 1/2 ” thickness. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out the individual farls.
Cook them in a greased frying pan until golden brown.
My husband and I love these Potato Farls so much that we look for excuses to make mashed potatoes (as if anyone would need an excuse…) and then make way more than necessary. Like I will buy a five-pound bag of potatoes and cook them all when I’m only making dinner for two. Yes indeed, I’ve now started freezing my farls so that I will always have some ready when that Potato Farl craving calls. Try a batch of these with your St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.
You won’t be disappointed though might possibly become addicted…
yield: 8 farls
- 1 Cup cold leftover mashed potatoes
- 1/2 all-purpose flour
- 1/2 shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- oil or butter in which to fry farls ( I often use bacon grease)
Place left over potatoes, flour and shredded cheese in bowl. Mix by kneading until it comes together into a soft dough. I usually use my hands to do this, spoons never seem to get the job done easily.
Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to a circle about 1/2″ thick. At this point, you can choose to fry the whole circle and cut it into quarters once it has finished frying. For smaller round farls, using a 2″ biscuit cutter, cut out farls, re-rolling farl dough as necessary.
Heat oil or butter as you wish in a frying pan over medium high heat. ( I usually use bacon fat to fry them in, but of course, butter is lovely as well! Also, I prefer to use a cast iron pan, as the farls seem to come out crispier when I do.) Once pan and oil are nice and hot, add farls to pan.
Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over the Farls and cook until golden brown and then flip and cook the other side in same manner.
*I will often make up a big batch of farl dough, cut out the farls and then freeze the uncooked farls, so that we can have farls at hand even when there hasn’t been any mashed potatoes about. Generally, I don’t even bother defrosting them when we’re ready to cook some up, but just pop them right into the pan frozen. That being said, they do tend to cause the oil to splatter and pop more when frozen so be cautious!