Basic soda bread (farl)

Yield: 4 Farls

Measure Ingredient
3½ cup Cake or All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
8 ounces Buttermilk; (up to 10)

Yesterday we introduced the members of Recipe-a-Day to Soda Bread as prepared in cake form. Today is the same recipe, but prepared as the farl.

This type of preparation is found more often in Northern Ireland and served as a part of a traditional Irish Breakfast, or Ulster Fry is you prefer.

Sift the dry ingredients together several times in a large mixing bowl to make sure the bicarbonate of soda is evenly distributed. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and a pour about three-quarters of the buttermilk into the center and start stirring. Continue to mix until you achieve a dough that is raggy and very soft. Add more buttermilk sparingly is you need it, as local conditions of humidity and temperature greatly impact the mixture.

Blend quickly, but not too energetically until the whole mass of dough has become a floury, raggy consistency. Turn the contents of the bowl out onto a lightly floured surface and start to knead the bread.

Your primary concern is speed in kneading. The chemical reaction of the bicarbonate of soda with the acidic buttermilk starts as soon as they meet.

You need to get the Soda Bread into the oven while the reactions running high, so don't over knead. Spend about 30-seconds kneading the dough and shape the bread into a slightly domed circle about 6 to 8-inches in diameter. Cut the circle of dough into four equal sections and try not to crush or compress the dough when you make the cuts. A clean slicing motion with a sharp knife is required. To complete the farl prepare your best cast iron griddle or fry pan for cooking. Pre-heat the pan over a medium-low setting. Dust a hot griddle or frying pan with a little flour, and place the farl or farls gently on the hot griddle. The cut edges should be ½ inch or so apart to allow for expansion during cooking. Grill or fry the farls about 20-minutes on each side until well toasted in color. The farls will scorch easily, so keep an eye on the heat and adjust accordingly. The heat source should be very low when the farls are finished.

Posted to dailyrecipe@... by The Cook & Kitchen Staff <dailyrecipe-owner@...> on Mar 04, 1998

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