Irish Soda Farls – with Buttermilk Substitute


home made irish soda farls with stawberry jam and tea

Yesterday I made some Irish Soda Farls to go with my home made leek, potato and bacon soup.  This morning there were a couple left so this was my breakfast.

I thought I’d share my recipe which doesn’t use buttermilk because it can be hard to find and expensive.  It’s really my Irish friends’ recipe but she lives in Ireland where buttermilk is a staple and comes in big cartons like milk it’s not a problem for her.  But here in Scotland it comes in a small tub like cream and costs nearly a pound and I would need two for this recipe!  I know it’s a slight deviation from my usual “cakes” but only slight!

So, I have developed my own – cheaper version….using natural yogurt and milk soured with a little lemon or lime juice.

This recipe makes two rounds which are then cut into four quarters each (so eight farls).

You Will Need:

  • 600g plain flour.
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
  • 275ml of natural yogurt ( I buy the big “value” pot)!
  • 275 milk (any kind including UHT).
  • 1 tablespoon lemon/lime juice (I normally use lemon but yesterday I only had a sad lime in my fridge and it worked well).  You can also use vinegar – you can’t taste it – it’s just to add acid to activate the baking powder.
  • Mix the yogurt/milk/lemon juice and leave for about 15-30 minutes.
  • Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
  • Add the wet to the dry ingredients – don’t add it all at once in case it’s too wet, add the last bit of milk etc. only if needed.
  • Stir well with a wooden spoon until you have a not-sticky dough.
  • Kneed for a minute or two and cut in to two halves.
  • Make each half into a “round” with your hands and pat it until it’s about an inch thick (don’t you just love the way we Brits are half metric and half imperial!)
  • Cut each round into four quarters.
  • Dry fry (no oil or anything) each quarter in a pre-heated cast-iron frying pan on a medium/high heat for a minute or two on each side – try not to brown them.
  • Place them in a pre-heated oven to finish off cooking – about 20 minutes at 180C or less – keep an eye on them.  Like all bread, they are done when they sound hollow when rapped with your knuckle.

Great with soup, with an Irish/Scottish/English cooked breakfast or as an afternoon snack with jam!  Enjoy.

Here’s a few more snaps of my breakfast plate taken with my iphone – kaleidacam app – I couldn’t resist, the strawberries were so perfect.

strawberries on a plate taken with iphone kaleidacam app

strawberries on a vintage tea plate taken with iphone kalaidacam app

irish soda farls, stawberries and jam using iphone kalaidacam app


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