Showing posts with label griddle bread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label griddle bread. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Soda Bread Farls #BreadBakers

Perfect for a quick breakfast or snack with a cup of tea, soda bread farls are quick bread “baked” on a stovetop griddle, rather than an oven. They are a traditional part of the Northern Ireland breakfast known as the Ulster Fry.

The word farl is pronounced farrel and derives from the old Scots word fardel, which essentially means “a quarter.” The source of the name becomes apparent when you see to make farls you flatten dough into a circle and cut it into four pieces before cooking.

Soda Bread Farls are very similar in texture to American buttermilk biscuits or British scones. The dough comes together quickly with just flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk.

For this post, I decided to make what I call an adulterated Ulster Fry to accompany the soda bread farls. Properly, that breakfast would include the farls, of course, plus sausage, bacon, black and white pudding, fried eggs and tomatoes. Mine included sausage, black pudding, fried eggs and mushrooms. Totally delicious and perfect for a long weekend morning. We weren’t hungry again till almost suppertime!

Ingredients – for 4 farls
2 cups or 250g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 240ml buttermilk
Lard or oil for frying (I used bacon drippings.)

Measure the dry ingredient together into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. This aerates the flour and takes the place of sifting.

Pour in the buttermilk and use a firm rubber spatula to mix it in to make a soft dough.

Flour a clean work surface and scrape the dough out on to it.

Flour the top of the dough and your hands and lightly knead the dough. You may have to sprinkle on more flour to keep it from sticking to your surface. Lightly press the dough into a circle about 8 in or 20cm across and about 1/2 in or 1cm thick. Sprinkle on a little more flour and flip the circle over.

Preheat heavy based flat griddle or skillet on medium to low heat.

Flour a sharp knife and cut the dough circle into quarters.

Add a couple of teaspoons of lard (or oil) to the preheated griddle and transfer the farls to the pan when the lard is melted and hot.

Cook the farls for about 3-4 minutes on that first side, watching carefully that they don’t burn.

Add a little more lard or oil and turn the farls over. Cook them for about 10-12 minutes in total, turning regularly so that they cook evenly.

Serve with just butter and jam or as part of a big breakfast.

We loved these! The only thing I’d do differently the next time is to cut the dough circle into eighths instead of quarters, which would change the name I suppose. Don’t think about it too much. Just make them! They "bake" up nicely.

Our Bread Bakers host this month is Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm. She challenged us to bake an Irish bread since, of course, St. Patrick’s Day is this week. Who knew there were so many? Check them out!
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Pin it!


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spicy Loli - Breakfast Flatbread #BreadBakers

Spicy and savory, flakey and rich, loli is a traditional breakfast in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It's tasty, quick to make and goes perfectly with a cup of hot sweet tea.

More akin to shortcrust than more traditional roti where gluten is developed by kneading, loli dough is made quickly, adding fat to the well-spiced flour, then just enough hot water to make it come together.

Our host for Bread Bakers, Anshie from SpiceRoots challenged us this month to share griddle breads and just with that one word, griddle, my head began to spin. A few years ago, I was reading a great book on bread, Going with the Grain - A Wandering Bread Lover Takes a Bite Out of Life by Susan Seligson, (<Amazon affiliate link) and I could only nod in agreement as the author discussed all the ancient ways that bread making sustains civilizations, whether cooked over hot coals in the desert or the communal brick ovens of northern Africa and Europe, both centuries ago and now. Every indigenous community seems to have its own flat or griddle bread, some more than one. If you are a fan of food memoirs and bread, I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

A quick Google search revealed that Ms. Seligson is indeed correct about the myriad breads, especially griddle and flatbreads since they are the easiest to make at home or in rudimentary kitchens without proper ovens, even outdoors. I was intrigued by loli, sometimes called koki, because it is savory and considered a breakfast bread in its native Sindh. I’m all about a savory breakfast. Another quick search brought me to this recipe on The Odd Pantry, which I’ve adapted to share here.

Thanks to our host, Anshie, for this excellent challenge and also for her advice on loli, specifically 1. make sure the chapatti atta says 100 percent on it and 2. do use ghee; it’s not the same with just oil.

This recipe is quick, easy and makes only two side plate sized flatbreads, perfect for your breakfast any day.

1/2 small purple onion
1 spicy red chili pepper
Good handful cilantro leaves
3/4 cup or 90g chapatti atta (100%) or whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter, plus extra for spreading on the loli while cooking
2-3 tablespoons hot water

Finely chop your onion and mince your chili pepper. Chop the cilantro.

Add the seasonings to the flour in a large mixing bowl, along with the salt.

Mix well making sure to separate the bits of onion and pepper, coating them with flour. Add in the two tablespoons of ghee.

Use a fork or your fingers to mix it into the flour, rather like you are making piecrust, until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Add in two tablespoons of hot water and mix again till it just starts hanging together. Add a little more hot water, if necessary, if it’s still too dry to form a ball.

Form the dough – no kneading, remember – into two balls.

Roll or press them out with your hands, one at a time, into rough circles. I found that mine stayed together better on the griddle if I pushed in on the sides after pressing the dough out, to sort of even out the edges. Tiny bits tried to fall off the first one as I turned, but the second loli was perfect.

Very lightly score the dough circles with a sharp knife.

Transfer the first dough circle onto your hot griddle and cook it for one minute. I put it scored side down on the griddle, to help it cook through.

Carefully turn it over with a big spatula and spread the top with some ghee. Cook for a minute on that side.

Turn it over once more and spread a little ghee on the other side. Cook for another 30 seconds to one minute or until it’s golden on both sides. You can turn it again, if you need to.

Repeat the same steps with the second dough ball. You now have two loli flatbreads to enjoy with a cup of hot sweet tea, which is their traditional accompaniment in a Sindhi breakfast.


Are you a fan of griddle breads? Check out all the other regional specialties the Bread Bakers have for you today!
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send me an email with your blog URL to


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Chickpea Moroccan Bread #BreadBakers

Cumin, kalongi and chickpeas add a lovely spicy heartiness to these tender, fluffy flatbreads. They are fabulous on their own or will happily accompany most any savory meal.

I am sure it happens in every family. A new favorite recipe is somehow discovered and is made again and again. Then, over time, it is forgotten until a conversation sparks a memory and you think, “Hey, remember that baked Camembert dish we used to make?”  We loved that dish! And you need to make it again. This month’s Bread Bakers theme, yeasty flatbreads, had that effect on me. I scoured the internet for inspiration and even found several recipes I would have loved to adapt and share, then I suddenly remember this one and had to make it again.

It’s been more than 15 years since Jamie Oliver’s second book, The Naked Chef Takes Off* was published but I still refer to it very occasionally for a couple of recipes, including the one he calls Chickpea Moroccan Flatbread. I have no idea whether actual Moroccans would recognize the recipe or make anything similar but I can tell you that it’s delicious. Over the years I’ve adapted it slightly, sometimes also adding fresh chopped chilies along with the chickpeas, varying the spices or brushing the finished flatbreads with melted butter. I can highly recommend those modifications. This bread is quick to make, needing only one rise, and adapts beautifully to whatever you want to throw in it.

4 cups or 500g strong bread flour plus extra for dusting
1 1/4- 1 1/2 cups or 300-360ml tepid water
1 (1/4 oz or 7g) sachet dried yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup or 130g cooked chickpeas (I use drained and rinsed canned ones most often but you can cook your own.)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons kalongi (also know as nigella seeds) Jamie’s version calls for coriander.
1 teaspoon canola or other light oil
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled

Combine your yeast and sugar and add in about half a cup or 120ml of the tepid water. Leave to prove while you get on with the recipe. You are looking for the mixture to bubble up and become foamy. If it does not, your yeast is dead. Buy some new yeast and start over.

Mash your chickpeas roughly with a fork. No need to remove the skins.

Add your flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.

Pour the yeast mixture into the well. Sprinkle on your cumin and nigella seeds then add in the mashed chickpeas.

Start mixing the flour and chickpeas into the yeasty water in the middle, a little at a time, until you have a sticky dough. Add the rest of the water a little at a time, mixing more flour in as you go, until you have a homogenous dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is stretchy and springy, dusting with a little more flour as necessary. Form the dough into a smooth ball.

Oil the inside of a large bowl with the canola oil and put the dough ball inside. Slash the top with a lame or sharp knife to allow the dough to rise with ease.

Cover it with some cling film or a towel and put it in a warm, draft free place for at least half an hour.

When you are ready to griddle your chickpea flatbreads, punch the risen dough down and cut it into seven or eight pieces.

Start heating your iron griddle or heavy duty skillet and, on a lightly floured surface, roll the first ball out thinly with a rolling pin.

When the griddle is hot, lay the rolled dough on it, being careful not to touch the griddle and burn yourself. Cook on one side until little brown spots and bubbles appear and the dough releases itself from the griddle.

Turn and griddle on the other side until done.

This takes just a couple of minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, roll out the next dough ball into a circle in readiness.

Remove the cooked flatbread to a plate and brush both sides with the melted butter. Keep warm while you cook the rest.

Add the next flatbread to the hot griddle and repeat process until all the flatbreads are cooked and brushed with butter.



Many thanks to our Bread Bakers host this month, Mireille of The Schizo Chef. I am delighted to be making one of my old favorite recipes to share for this fun yeasty flatbread event! Have a look at all the other wonderful flatbreads we’ve got for you today!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here.

Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to

* Affiliate link

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Crumpets for #RandomRecipeChallenge

The whole point of the Random Recipe Challenge set each month by dashing Dom of +belleau kitchen is to get us out of our comfort zone and make us try something new. This month the theme is bread so I opened the EatYourBooks website and searched my own cookbooks as specified.  My random number landed on English Bread and Yeast Cookery, a book I have had for a while and have enjoyed reading, but had yet to cook or bake from.  It is by Elizabeth David, the grande dame of British cookbook authors.

What there is to know about food preparation that she hasn’t written about, must not be worth knowing.  Each recipe is thoroughly researched and documented and delivered with current (at the time of publication) personal observations.  Mrs. David shares nine recipes for crumpets, those little griddle yeast breads, the oldest dating back to 1769, and her treatise on what a crumpet should and should not be.  She is quite firm and I get the feeling that she was quite a character.  My random recipe number this month brought me to the one called Crumpets 1973.  Thank God.

                                                  Random Recipes #28 - May

3 2/3 cups or 455g flour
1 packet dried yeast (3/4o oz or 21g) I used Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise.
2 cups or 470ml milk, diluted with 1/4 cup or 60ml water
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons oil (I used canola.) plus extra for greasing the griddle and metal rings
For the second mixing: 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 cup or 120ml warm water

Mrs. David says to warm the flour in a crockery bowl in a warm oven so I popped mine in a glass bowl into the microwave.  I didn’t really expect anything that dry to get warm, but it did.  Since it’s hotter than the hinges of hell already here in Dubai, that step probably wasn’t necessary but I was curious to see if it would work.

Measure your milk, water, oil and sugar into a microwaveable vessel and then warm slowly to blood heat.  I took that to mean 98.6°F or 37°C.

Close enough.
Pour about 1/4 cup of 60ml of your warm milk mixture into a small bowl with the yeast and whisk gently.

Meanwhile, add the salt to your warmed flour and mix well.

Stir in the yeast and then add the warm milk mixture.  Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until it is smooth and elastic.  Here Mrs. David quotes from an earlier crumpet recipe and says to “attack it with ‘vivacious turbulence.’”  I suggest you do the same.

Look how foamy the yeast mixture got in just a couple of minutes! 

Cover the bowl and allow to rise for about an hour to an hour and a half at room temperature.

After an hour.
Beat it down with a wooden spoon.

Dissolve the baking soda in the warm water and add it to the batter, again stirring vigorously.  Let this rest, or as Mrs. David says, let the batter recover, for another 30 minutes.

Here where it gets tricky.  Prepare your griddle and rings by brushing them liberally with oil.  According to the instructions, my rings were supposed to be about 4 inches or 10cm across.  Mine were considerably smaller.

Also, as I filled them the first time rather full, I realized that the characteristic holes in the crumpet couldn’t form because the batter was too deep.   Also, perhaps my batter was too thick.

Too full? Or too thick?  Either way, no holes! 
Mrs. David warned that this might happen and suggested adding some extra warm water to thin the batter just a little bit.  I added another 1/4 cup or 60ml of water and only filled the rings halfway on the second attempt.  I was delighted to start seeing holes forming as they cooked.

Yay!  Holes starting to emerge!  
So:  I suggest that you heat your griddle over a low to medium flame and then only fill the rings halfway with batter to start.  If the holes are still not forming, add some more warm water to the batter.

Cook the batter until the holes have formed and the top is looking mostly cooked.  Use an oven mitt to pick up the ring and run a knife around the crumpet to loosen it, if necessary, and remove the ring.  Flip the crumpet so the holey side can brown.

Remove from griddle and, if you’d like, keep the finished ones warm in the oven until they are all done and you are ready to eat.

Continue brushing the rings with grease and filling them and cooking the crumpets until all your batter is gone.  Or until you get sick and tired of turning out crumpets and decide to stack a couple of the first hole-less batch with cheese and saucisson and make your helper a birthday cake.   Decorate with piped cream cheese.  Sing the birthday song and blow the candle out for him.  After all he has no lips.

This recipe makes a bunch of crumpets, at least a couple or three dozen, especially with small rings.

Smear them with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey to fill the little holes.


More birthday boy photos: