Monday, 10 January 2011

Soda farls (with tomatoes, eggs and bacon, or whatever you like)

Let this be some Monday inspiration for you to carry you through the week to the weekend where you can settle in, have a cup of coffee and weekend papers, with some delicious brunch. 
This is a lovely recipe for soda farls, put up by Niamh, who runs the blog Eat Like a Girl. As soon as I saw this post, I knew I had to make these, not least of all because bread is definitely one of those things which people tend to be extremely wary of, and for a good reason, really. If nothing else, you get all psyched up having decided it's time to do bread, then reading the recipe realise there's about four hours of letting it sit around, while you're standing there in your apron, all ready to go! Plus activating the yeast can be a pain. 
I love Saturday morning breakfast 
My only proper experience of trying to make bread was an overly-spongy, oily foccacia which my boyfriend loved, because anything coated in oil, garlic and rosemary is guaranteed to hit SOME taste buds, but it was hardly a triumph and it took much too long. Boo to that! 
Whereas this recipe doesn't even need yeast! Make the dough, put it into a hot floured frying pan for about eight minutes, and you're done. Hot, fresh bread with your breakfast that 10 minutes prior was a heap of flour. Now that's a sense of smug achievement for you! 
I've included this one here with some roasted tomatoes, which I stuck in the oven as soon as I arrived back from Tesco, even before I started weighing out the flour, plus some scrambled eggs and some bacon. Yum yum.  For two people. 

Soda farls (with tomatoes, eggs and bacon, or whatever you like) 
  • 115g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75mls buttermilk, or 75ml normal milk with a 1/2 tsp of lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
Before you do anything else, get on your tomatoes. Pre-heat the oven, and cut them in half and sprinkle over a pinch of dark sugar, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, a pinch of oregano and maybe some harissa dry spice rub (that's what the rose-petal looking flakes are in the photograph), if you have it to hand! Put it in the oven on 180C, and keep an eye on it. If it starts to get too dried-out looking, just turn off the oven but leave them inside. They'll stay warm. 

Now onto the farls! Sieve the flour and bicarb into a mixing bowl, and add the salt. Make sure it's combined, then make a well in the centre and gradually add the milk, a little at a time, mixing all the while. You miiiiiight need a little extra splash of milk if it really won't come together at all, but you want it to just about stick into a ball. Knead it very briefly, for 20 seconds or so, then roll into a ball in your hands and put on a floured work-top.
Push the round of dough out into a circle shape about 1cm thick (it will rise when you cook it) and cut into quarters.
Put a frying pan on a medium heat with a sprinkling of flour, and put the farls in, turning occasionally until they're goldeny-brown on each side. Once the farls are in the pan, get your scrambled eggs on (scrambled eggs must be cooked slowly, on a low heat, with butter!) and after a bit, your bacon. At the end, serve all together, with a big mug of black coffee (alright, tea if you must) and the weekend magazines. Then mooch around all day. Perfect!
Lovely smell at this point, as you can imagine! 

Credit where credit is due: Niamh of Eat Like a Girl

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