Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Soda Farls

I've lived in enough student housing to be used to living with horrible kitchens. The worst was perhaps in my third year of university, the constant dampness meant I had to keep flour in my room to stop it from moulding. I still have a limited budget for renting, so I have yet to live in my own place with a kitchen I really loved. Sometimes a grudging fondness, but not loved, or even really liked. The new flat I have moved into has a kitchen with very limited space, an overzealous freezer ( the stalactites are nice to look at, but take up too much room) and a very temperamental oven. A temperamental gas oven, I should add, which means any failed attempts at turning it on fills the kitchen with terrifying, flammable gas. For my first few nights there, I struggled to get the oven to even turn on, which meant I had to do everything stove top until the landlady came round and pointed out the lever you have to pull to ignite it. 

Not having an oven unsettled me. I like baking. I especially like baking in a new house to make it feel like home. There are plenty of things you can make only using the hob, but as soon as I was restricted to it, all I could think about were the things I couldn't cook, primarily bread. At least until I found the solution, and the solution was to make soda farls.

Soda farls use exactly the same dough as ordinary soda bread, but instead baking it, you cook them over a griddle on a low heat until they are cooked through. There is something lovely and old fashioned about cooking bread on a griddle, eaten straight away with butter. For some reason I only ever make them at breakfast time, possibly do to with Ulster fry associations.

To make the soda farls, simply make a quantity of the soda bread dough. Have a flat based griddle or heavy bottomed frying pan on a low heat while you are making it. Form the dough into a ball and cut into quarters. Flatten each piece slightly, to a thickness of about 2-3cm. Sprinkle flour on the bottom of the pan and gently place your uncooked farls on the bottom of the pan. Cook for 20-30 minutes, turning over halfway. They are cooked when they are dark golden on the sides and no longer doughy in the middle. They usually end up with a darker, more cooked surface than soda bread when I make them, because the oven temperature is easier to control in an oven then on a stove. But they are still very good.

No comments:

Post a Comment