Traditional Irish Potato Farls or Irish Potato Bread – depending on what part of Ireland you come from. Crispy on the outside, fluffy in the middle, and perfect for a tasty St.Patrick’s day breakfast. Also great for using up any leftover mash!
These potato farls where very much a favourite part of my life growing up in Ireland. They were a tasty breakfast treat whenever there was mashed potato leftover from the night before.
Traditionally served as part of a fried breakfast, these farls are perfect with fried tomatoes and eggs. But don’t feel like you have to limit these to just breakfast! They’re really good a snack too, just add lashings of butter and enjoy any time of the day!
Where Did Potato Farls Originate?
Traditionally potato farls were part of the Ulster Fry, a cooked breakfast consisting of farls, fried soda bread, sausages, black pudding, bacon, and fried eggs. Further down the country farls are known as potato bread. Even though I grew up in the mid-west region of Ireland, I grew up knowing them to be farls.
What Is A Farl?
Farl comes from the Gaelic word fardel. It means ‘quarter’, and was used to describe a quarter piece of an oatcake or soda bread.
What You’ll Need
- Potatoes – you’ll need a fluffy potato for these farls. Maris piper or Yukon Gold is best.
- Butter – I use salted butter for these, you can go for an unsalted butter if you wish. Whichever butter you use, make sure it is real butter! You’ll need the butter to make the mash and for cooking the farls.
- Flour – plain or all-purpose flour is best.
- Baking Powder – this will help lighten the farls.
- Seasoning – salt and black pepper. You can use white pepper if you prefer.
How To Make Potato Farls
- Boil the potatoes in salted water. Once cooked mash the potatoes with a masher or put them through a potato ricer.
- Melt the butter then add that to the mashed potatoes. Stir the potatoes well with a wooden spoon.
- Add the baking powder, salt, pepper, and flour then mix well.
- Turn the potato mixture out onto a floured board then kneed briefly until it comes together in a ball. Then cut the dough in half.
- Take one half of the dough then flatten it out into a round, about 1cm or 3/8ths of an inch thick. Cut the round into quarters.
- Cook the farls in butter until golden. Turn them over and cook the other side until golden.
Tips For Making The Best Potato Farls
- Use fluffy potatoes, waxy potatoes will not work here. Go for Maris Piper or Yukon Gold.
- When you drain the cooked potatoes drop them back in the saucepan. Put the heat back on and dry the potatoes, this will help stop your farls from being soggy.
- Melt the butter before you add it to the potatoes, this is also good for making any mash. You don’t want to add anything too cold to the hot potatoes.
- Cook the farls in butter, I prefer salted butter, the Irish kind of course! Oil will make your farls soggy so avoid that.
- Make sure the farls have a little dusting of flour on them before you add them to the pan. If you followed the recipe they should have enough flour on them from the floured board.
How To Serve Potato Farls
These really are great for breakfast, we have them with fried eggs and fried tomatoes. If we’re really hungry I’ll add some fried mushrooms, some veggie sausages, and soda bread. We don’t just have these for breakfast though. If I have any leftover cheesy mash I’ll make these as a snack, just serve with plenty of butter and a decent sprinkling of salt! This is also a little variation on the traditional farls.
Can I freeze these potato farls? Yes, you can! I would freeze them before you cook them. Once you’ve cut them into farls, lay them on a baking tray and place in the freezer for an hour. Then place them in freezer bags or a container in layers. You could place some parchment paper between the farls to stop them from sticking together. You can then cook them from frozen.
How long will these last in the fridge? If you have any leftover they will keep in the fridge for about 3 days.
How do I make this recipe vegan? Swap the butter for plant-based butter.
Need More Irish Recipes to Celebrate St Patrick’s Day?
Potato Farls (Irish Potato Bread)
- 625 g potatoes (4.25 US cups approx) peeled and cut into quarters
- 120 g plain flour (all-purpose flour) (1 US cup)
- 30 g butter (2 US tbsp) plus more for cooking
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt divided
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 eggs
- 4 tomatoes cut in half
- 4 spring onions chopped
- Boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water. Use 1/2 tsp of salt for the water.Drain, then return the pan to the heat and dry off the potatoes.
- Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or put the potatoes through a ricer.
- Melt the butter in a pan then add it to the mashed potatoes, stir well.
- Add the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt, pepper, baking powder and flour to the potatoes and mix well.Tip the potato mixture onto a floured board and knead until you have a smooth ball of dough.
- Cut the dough in half. Place one half aside for a moment.Take the other half and flatten it into a round, about 1cm / 3/4 inch thick.Cut the round into equal quarters.
- Melt a generous knob of butter in a skillet add the potato farls and cook over medium heat for about four minutes then flip them over and cook for another four minutes.The potato farls should be golden brown, crispy on the outside fluffy in the middle and piping hot.Serve immediately.
- Potatoes - fluffy potatoes are essential for this recipe, Maris Piper or Yukon Gold are perfect.
- Dry the potatoes - 0nce drained drop the potatoes back in the pan and put the heat on again to dry them out. This will help stop your farls from being to wet.
- Melt the butter - before you add it to the potatoes, this is also good for making any mash. You don't want to add anything too cold to the hot potatoes.
- Cook the farls in butter - I use salted butter, the Irish kind of course!
- Dust the farls - Make sure the farls have a little dusting of flour on them before you add them to the pan. If you followed the recipe they should have enough flour on them from the floured board.
- Storing/Freezing/Reheating - These farls will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat them on the hob or in the oven. You can freeze these, I would freeze them before cooking. Lay them out on a baking tray then pop it in the freezer for an hour. Transfer them to a freezer bag or container, in layers. I would place some parchment paper between each one to stop them from sticking together. Cook from frozen on the hob or in the oven.
- Nutritional Information - is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool. It is based on one serving or 2 farls. It does not include extras such as eggs.
- Measurements - I weigh all my ingredients using an electric scale, all measurements are metric. Cup measurements are approximate.