Delicious and Easy Soda Farls Recipe

It’s no secret that Irish cuisine is famous for its hearty, comforting dishes. And when it comes to traditional Irish bread, nothing beats soda bread. That’s why I’m excited to share with you my recipe for Soda Farls – one of the most beloved forms of Irish soda bread.

Soda Farls are a staple in Northern Irish households, and once you try them, you’ll know why. This yeast-free quick bread is made with only four ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. It has a rich history and has been enjoyed for generations in Ireland.

But what sets these farls apart from other forms of Irish soda bread is that they are shaped into discs and cut into quarters before being cooked on a hob or skillet. This makes them perfect for tearing apart by hand and enjoying alongside soup or stew.

Plus, with their golden crust and soft interior texture, they’re delicious on their own or topped with butter, jam or honey. So whether you have Irish roots or simply love a good homemade bread, this recipe is sure to become a household favorite.

Join me as we whip up a batch of traditional Irish Soda Farls!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Soda Farls (Irish)
Soda Farls (Irish)

My dear reader, if you’re searching for a truly authentic Irish recipe that will transport you to the vibrant and cozy streets of Northern Ireland, look no further than this incredible soda farls recipe. This bread has a rich history and has been enjoyed by generations of Irish families as a staple food during harsh times.

But what sets this recipe apart from other traditional Irish soda bread recipes? Well, let me tell you! With only four simple ingredients (flour, buttermilk, salt, and baking soda), this dish is incredibly easy to make and yeast-free, which means it’s perfect for those who want to enjoy homemade bread without the fuss of measure and kneading.

The addition of buttermilk in the recipe creates an irresistible tangy and nutty flavor with a tender crumb texture that guarantees to impress any carb-lover out there. Moreover, the use of two types of flour – cake flour and all-purpose flour – ensures a perfectly balanced dough that is not too heavy or too light.

It’s also worth noting that these soda farls are versatile in how they can be served or stored. Enjoy your freshly cooked farls cut into quarters with a dollop of butter or even as an accompaniment with roasted meats or soup. You can also store them in cling wrap or a sealed container at room temperature for up to three days or in the freezer for more extended storage.

What difference does Irish soda make to the traditional bread recipe? The answer is simple yet significant. Irish soda adds volume and lift to the bread without needing yeast, making it ideal for when time is short. Baking powder is sometimes used instead of baking soda; however, it doesn’t have the same authentic flavor as the original recipe.

So, whether you’re cooking for St Patrick’s Day event or just want to delve into something that has been deeply rooted in Irish culture for centuries, give this Irish soda farls recipe a go! Who knows, you may just fall in love with this traditional Irish dish that has been beloved by generations.

Ingredient List

 The perfectly toasted soda farls to start your day.
The perfectly toasted soda farls to start your day.

Here are the ingredients you will need for making the perfect Irish soda farls recipe:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk

For those who like to experiment with flavors, you can substitute some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat for a nuttier taste. The buttermilk is crucial to obtain the distinctive tangy flavor associated with traditional Irish soda bread. Lastly, make sure to use fresh baking soda, as it is the leavening agent that acts immediately upon contact with acidic substances such as the buttermilk.

The Recipe How-To

 Warm and buttery soda farls, the quintessential Irish breakfast treat.
Warm and buttery soda farls, the quintessential Irish breakfast treat.

Now that we have gone through the ingredients list, it’s time to put on your apron and head towards the kitchen. Let’s start making some Irish Soda Farls!

Step One: Mixing the Dry Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, sift together 1 cup of cake flour, 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Make sure that all the dry ingredients are mixed well.

Step Two: Adding the Wet Ingredients

Create a well in the center of your dry ingredients and add 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk. Mix the ingredients and form a soft dough.

Step Three: Kneading and Shaping the Dough

Place your dough on a floured surface and knead it lightly for about 30 seconds until it is smooth. Shape the dough into a circular disc.

Step Four: Cutting and Cooking the Farls

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into four quarters to form farls. In a heated skillet or griddle over medium heat, cook each farl for about 6 to 8 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown.

Serve your delicious, warm Irish Soda Farls with your favourite jam or spread!

Substitutions and Variations

 The golden brown crust on these soda farls is pure perfection.
The golden brown crust on these soda farls is pure perfection.

When it comes to soda farls, there are plenty of ways to put your own unique spin on them. Here are some substitution and variation ideas that might spark your creativity in the kitchen:

1. Flour: Although this recipe calls for a combination of cake flour and all-purpose flour, you can also use bread flour or whole wheat flour in place of some (or all) of the flour mixture.

2. Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick substitute by combining regular milk with vinegar or lemon juice (1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice for every cup of milk). Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before using it.

3. Add-Ins: To upgrade your soda farls, consider adding raisins, currants, chopped nuts, or herbs like rosemary or thyme to the dough.

4. Shaping and Cutting: If you prefer a different shape than discs or rounds, try rolling out the dough into a long rectangle and cutting it into smaller triangles for classic wedge-shaped soda farls.

5. Sweet or Savory: For a sweeter version of soda farls, add sugar (1-2 teaspoons) to the dough mixture. You can also add savory flavors like cheese, olives, or sun-dried tomatoes for a flavorful twist on this traditional Irish bread.

Remember to experiment with different substitutions and flavors until you find what works best for you. The beauty of soda farls is that they are versatile enough to be enjoyed with any type of meal or snack!

Serving and Pairing

 You can almost smell the aroma in this photo of freshly made soda farls.
You can almost smell the aroma in this photo of freshly made soda farls.

Once your Irish soda farls are ready, there are a few excellent pairing options you can consider. These versatile bread pieces are perfect for breakfast or brunch, and they will also make a great addition to your lunch or dinner menu. Their texture is quite hearty and filling, so they’ll work well with many different foods.

One classic way to serve Irish soda farls is to toast them until they’re golden brown and then spread some butter on top. You can also add a little bit of fruit preserve or honey for an extra touch of sweetness. Another possibility is to use them as a basis for sandwiches – you can stack them up with roast beef, ham, or roasted vegetables, and they’ll hold up well without falling apart.

If you are serving the soda farls as a side dish to accompany a main course, they go very well with stews or soups. Their dense texture pairs perfectly with hearty and warm dishes like meat or vegetable stews. Alternatively, you can enjoy them as a vehicle for dips and spreads – such as hummus or spinach dip.

If you’re looking for something sweeter, you can also serve soda farls alongside some raisin bread and a cup of tea for a classic Irish treat. You can even try turning them into mini pizzas by adding some tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese on top before baking in the oven (be sure to adjust your baking time accordingly).

Overall, Irish soda farls are incredibly versatile and pair well with many different foods – whether hot or cold. Get creative and experiment with different flavors until you find your favorite combination – but most importantly, enjoy your traditional Irish fare!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These soda farls pair perfectly with a warm cup of tea or coffee.
These soda farls pair perfectly with a warm cup of tea or coffee.

Once your soda farls are cooked, it’s important to think about how to store them. These delicious Irish treats can be made ahead and stored for later use.

To make ahead, cook the farls as directed and let them cool down completely. Once at room temperature, they can be wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month.

When reheating, simply cook them on a dry skillet or griddle over low heat until they are warmed through or toast them in the oven at 350°F for a few minutes before serving. Just like freshly cooked soda farls, reheated ones go well with butter and jam or honey.

It is worth mentioning that while it is possible to refrigerate soda farls, it affects their texture negatively, making them dry and crumbly. If you have leftovers, make sure to store them properly and consume them in a timely manner.

With proper storage and reheating techniques on hand, you’ll never have to worry about stale soda farls again.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Nothing beats a pile of homemade soda farls on the breakfast table.
Nothing beats a pile of homemade soda farls on the breakfast table.

To make the perfect soda farls, there are few tips that can help. First, make sure to sift the flour and baking soda to avoid lumps in the dough. Then, mix the buttermilk gradually and knead the dough gently until it forms a smooth ball. Here are more tips to ensure perfect results:

1. Use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour to achieve a lighter texture.

2. The key to soda bread is the chemical reaction between the baking soda and buttermilk – do not overwork the dough or allow it to rest too long as this will cause it to flatten.

3. To test if your baking soda is fresh, mix a teaspoon of white vinegar with half a teaspoon of baking soda; if it fizzes up then it’s active.

4. Always use warm buttermilk for the best results.

5. Don’t forget to add salt for flavor! A pinch of salt goes a long way in enhancing the taste of Irish Soda Bread.

6. Cook on medium-low heat on a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or griddle pan for even cooking and a crispy crust.

7. Cut your farls into quarters before putting them in the skillet – this makes flipping easier and ensures even cooking throughout.

8. For an extra crispy crust, dust some extra flour on each side of the farls before cooking.

With these tips, you are sure to have perfectly golden, fluffy Soda Farls every time!


Now that you have learned about the ingredients, how to make it, and other recommendations, you might still have a few questions. Don’t worry because I’ve got you covered with this FAQ section. Here are some commonly asked questions and answers that will help you troubleshoot any issues and make perfect soda farls every time.

What are soda farls made of?

In Northern Ireland, there’s a traditional quick bread called soda farl that’s leavened with baking soda and buttermilk. The dough is formed into a disc, quartered, and cooked on the stovetop.

What is the difference between soda bread and soda farls?

Soda bread and soda farls differ in their preparation and cooking methods. While soda bread is baked in an oven, soda farls are cut into quarters and cooked on a skillet on the hob. The origin of the word ‘farl’ can be traced back to the Scottish term ‘fardel’, used to refer to a triangular cake or a quarter of a round cake.

What makes Irish soda bread different?

Soda bread, a popular dish in Ireland, is typically crafted using only four ingredients and without yeast. These ingredients include flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. The reaction between the baking soda and buttermilk allows the dough to rise, resulting in a fluffy texture. While whole-wheat flour is commonly used, the bread can also be made with white flour.

What is traditional Irish soda bread made of?

The fundamental components required for making classic Irish soda bread include flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The acidic content in the buttermilk triggers a reaction with the baking soda’s basic nature, resulting in leavening of the bread dough. Hence, the bread gets its name “soda bread” from this leavening process.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re looking to bake a bread that’s easy, delicious and has centuries of tradition behind it, then I encourage you to try out this recipe for Irish Soda Farls. The four simple ingredients – flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk – make for a bread that’s yeast-free, quick to throw together, and wonderfully versatile in terms of serving and pairing options.

Whether you prefer your farls golden-brown and crispy from the oven or cooked on a skillet hob until they’re slightly charred around the edges, these soda farls are a delight no matter how you choose to prepare them. Serve with butter and jam for a morning treat, alongside soup or stew in the afternoon, or as part of a hearty Irish breakfast at any time of day.

Moreover, with the substitutions and variations section available in this recipe article, there’s no limit to the ways in which you can adapt these soda farls to suit your own particular tastes and dietary restrictions. So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and get baking now! Your taste buds (and your guests) will thank you for it.

Soda Farls (Irish)

Soda Farls (Irish) Recipe

Anyone who has ever visited Ireland and had any of their bread items, especially this little beauty, will confirm that Irish baked goods are unbelievably delicious. You can now find flour from Ireland in some of the larger supermarkets in the USA. Just look in the Irish foods section. It's quite expensive, but worth it to get that much closer to the taste experience of the Emerald Isle.
Course Bread
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 30 Mins, Beginner Cook, Breads, Easy, European, Grains, Healthy, Low Cholesterol
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 farls
Calories 262.2kcal


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • Mix dry ingredients together.
  • Add buttermilk and stir.
  • Turn dough onto floured board and knead gently, forming a round, about 10-12 inches.
  • Cut into quarters.
  • Fry farls in a"wee" bit of butter, until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes on each side.
  • You may need to set them on end to help cook the sides.


Serving: 522g | Calories: 262.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 53.5g | Protein: 8.1g | Fat: 1.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 2.5mg | Sodium: 1276.3mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 3.1g

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