Are you wondering what happened to dessert? Well, I'm taking a tiny break from sweets today to offer you something slightly savory for a change. But -- it involves baking and pancakes, so it ticks all the boxes: comfort food, baking therapy, and unusual food exploration. My kind of recipe ;)
About a year ago someone told me about these things called Irish Potato Farls -- a traditional breakfast side that's something like a cross between bread and a pancake. When I heard there's a way to potato, bread, and pancake all in one go, I was of course very interested. Vegan and gluten-free potato bread? I'm totally in!
I also thought my husband would love these, so there was extra incentive to make something that wasn't cake since he doesn't really like sweets (? I know!) but anything potatoes and bread will get his attention pretty quickly. I went to play in the kitchen and made some farls. And we loved them.
We don't have them as a traditional breakfast side though (I wouldn't forgo my sweet breakfasts for a thing!), but as a part of dinner these are amazing and very filling, cozy, and satisfying.
It's a bit confusing to understand how these are both a pancake and a bread. We've been eating these plenty, and I still couldn't tell you to be honest :). If you want to get even more confused, I'm throwing in the word potato latkas in here, and maybe even bourekas, because you kind of get a hint of everything in one go.
I experimented with these in different ways, though, over time. You can see that in these photos they look a bit different from one another. The main difference is that some are baked and some are fried. The pan-fried version can be seen in the photo above, the baked version in the photo below. Surprisingly it's like a completely different recipe, depending on which way you make it, even though the ingredients are the same.
Pan fried is more like a potato patty, or a bit like latkas. Pancake-like. The edges get lightly crispy, but the inside is a soft and potato-y.
Baked in the oven turns out a bit more bready -- still soft on the inside, but with a crisp airy edge quality to it (especially once cooled a little). The inside is still soft and potato-y though -- not at all like a sliceable bread. Sort of like a potato-stuffed naan actually.
I couldn't tell you which one I prefer more. I guess it's more what I'm in the mood for. Both are delicious. I usually make half the batch in the oven and half in a pan just for variety, and then save some for a later meal (they keep and re-heat well, though are tastiest when hot and freshly made).
I like to top mine with some hot pepper flakes and black sesame seeds. They're good with a bit of vegan butter too (though I usually have mine without). Also good as a makeshift toast base for mashed avo ?. And you can totally play around with throwing in more spices, leaving out the salt, etc. I usually improvise with what I've got on hand.
I am putting these out with a massive disclaimer though (in the hopes no Irishmen and women with pitchforks come after me for such an odd and unconventional farls recipe ;)). The method here is a bit unusual, but that's what works best for me for a gluten-free version of potato farls.
There are different ways to make traditional farls. More often than not, the dough is kneadable (i.e. firmer and can be handled). I have made it that way but found the flavor of gluten-free flour overwhelmed it (regular wheat flour has a different taste and consistency so it's a bit more forgiving and can be used in a larger quantity + the gluten makes the kneading work best).
My batter is thinner and stickier (and I threw a few spices in there because I liked the flavor like that -- personal preference). I'm fine with less flour, more potatoes, and some simple batter-scooping action personally (plus my hands stay cleaner in the process!) -- it works and it's delish.
P.S. if you want to make this with regular flour you can just replace the rice flour + starch with wheat flour, and you can also add more flour so that you can shape your "breads" by hand if you like. Usually you make a big pancake, cut it into quarters and fry on either side.
Irish Potato Farls
A warm, cozy gluten-free Irish potato farl recipe that tastes like a cross between a pancake and bread.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4-6 pancakes or breads
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baked
- 650gr potatoes, washed and quartered
- ¼ cup water from cooked potatoes (see step 1)
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- spices: ¾ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp white rice flour
- Cover potatoes with water in a small pot and boil until you're able to easily piece one with a fork (should take about 15-20 mins). Strain, reserving ¼ cup of the water the potatoes cooked in and discard the rest of the water. Allow potatoes to cool off for about 10 mins (don't leave too long*).
- Place potatoes, saved water, and all remaining ingredients except flour in a mixing bow. Use an immersion blender to blend the potatoes down into a rough mash in the bowl (can do this in a food processor if you don't have an immersion blender).
- Add in flour and mix it into the potato mixture by hand to thoroughly combine. You should have a sticky dough at this point.
- FOR MAKING IN OVEN (skip to next step if making in pan): Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside. Shape batter into of large ovals with your hands (shaped like a naan-bread) and place onto the parchment-lined baking tray (they should be about ¾" tall in height roughly). Bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 40 mins (keep an eye out and remove from oven once the tops are nice and golden). Cool the tray on a rack for a few minutes, and enjoy!
- FOR MAKING IN A PAN: If planning to make these oil-free, use a really good non-stick skillet and cook the pancakes in a bit of water or broth (I use water). Or if not oil-free, heat a bit of oil on the pan for cooking. Scoop some of the batter onto the pre-heated pan (can do multiple pancakes at a time depending on pan size) and press down with a flat spatula to flatten a little. Cook the pancakes on medium-low heat for a few minutes on each side, flipping back and forth every so often, until they look nice and golden. Transfer onto a plate and repeat with remaining batter. Enjoy!
*Don't let the potatoes cool too long, as in my experience when they've been left to cool for a while then the bread comes out mushy / wet on the inside.
Christine Duffy says
Haven't tried but recipe looks good. I am an Irish woman (no pitchfork) raised on potato and soda farls. Farls are usually thin (max 1cm), triangle shaped and cooked on a griddle - dry with a bit of flour to prevent sticking but it was a method for cooking on a range or open fire. After cooking then traditionally you would eat either slathered in butter from the pan, though the soda farls (soda bread cooked this way) need to sit for a while and are a handy griddle bread. Both would be fried (the soda farls would be split) and served with a big fry up as part of an Ulster Fry.
Thanks for sharing, Christine! Very interesting. Traditional farls made on an open fire sound incredible.
I really want to try this, but all I have is potato flakes. Can I use them?
Hi Yvette. I've never tried making this with ready made mashed potatoes rather than from freshly boiled potatoes. In theory I don't see why it wouldn't work. In practice you'll need to play around with the amount of mash and how moist it is until you get a good dough consistency, which might be a bit tricky if you've never tried the recipe before. So I suppose it just depends on how adventurous you are :) If you're feeling experimental, I'd give it a go.
Bettina Morton says
I can't wait to try this recipe. I have been looking for a potato bread that is potato-y. I can't have rice flour. Three questions: 1) what was your original recipe with tapioca starch? 2) Can I use Cassava flour instead of rice? 3) Can I make them in a muffin tin?
I will post again after making them.
Hi Bettina. Maybe this recipe will be the one :)
1. I don't recall exactly to be honest, but it was basically mostly rice flour with a little bit of tapioca starch in there. I just found after making these a while that the tapioca wasn't really adding much to the mix, so removed it.
2. It might work with cassava. I haven't tried, but structurally it should be ok. Might just add a cassava taste to these though. If you're trying to avoid all grains, it might be worth a try. If you're ok with other grain flours, can try oat flour instead, or a gluten-free all purpose flour mix.
3. I've not tried these as a muffin. I feel like if you pile up the dough mixture too high in the tin though the middle won't bake through evenly. You can always make smaller breads, almost like mini pitas in size, out of this recipe if you prefer though -- in a shallowly-filled muffin tin or just on a cookie tray (that would be my preference, seems simpler somehow).
Hope this helps!
I've made this several times, both the baked and fried. I took the baked version to my celiac group meeting but I've used the fried version with eggs in the morning.
Hi Bonnie, thanks so much for the feedback. So glad this recipe is working well for you :)
My boyfriend just made these this weekend, and they were delicious! We dipped in hummus. Mmm! I do have a question, though: can you freeze them and save them for later? Do you have any freezing recommendations? Thanks!
gina dali says
i freeze potato bread all the time. when it's time to enjoy, i just reheat in the toaster oven and add some butter on top .....mmmm
Hi Sarah, so happy you enjoyed this recipe :) As for freezing, in the past I just put it in a freezer-safe container once they are completely cooled off. It can help to put a piece of parchment paper between layers so they separate easier. Then just re-heat them in a toaster oven, same as with a frozen bun, etc.
Thankyou tried these and were great
Yay -- glad you enjoyed these :)
At what point do you add the spices? Did I miss that?
Hi Jennifer. In step 2 :) (I put it as "all remaining ingredients").
How well do these keep? Could they be made a day ahead or are they best made fresh?
Hi Rose. I find they are best on the first day. But I usually have leftovers for the next day and they're still good if re-heated.
How many potatoes or cups is 650 grams ruffly? I Don’t have a scale I would like to make tonight and don’t want to run out to the store to look for a scale so if you can roughly give me an idea that would be perfect thanks so much
Hi Michelle. Sorry for the delayed reply. It's roughly 3 - 3.5 medium potatoes (2-1/4" to 3-1/4" diameter).
Kristen Weaver says
Looks amazing! Could tapioca flour be used?
It won't work as a substitute for the rice flour because tapioca flour is very starchy, so you'll most likely end up with a gummy center. I've made these with millet before and they turned out ok. Oat flour will probably be good here too as an alternative.
Hi, I do not see tapioca starch among the ingredients. Am I missing something? Thank you!
Hi July. This recipe originally used to have tapioca starch, but I ended up updating it so it no longer needs it.
This recipe looks so good but I'm not sure what I have done wrong-headed mine are still very sticky and doughy in the middle ?
It sounds like you need to add more flour to get the consistency to not be so doughy. Add more until the consistency gets a bit drier before cooking. Baking also makes them come out a bit drier in general.
These are great! I made them to eat with a curry, like naan breads. So good! I'm thinking if I spread the dough a bit thinner this could make a good pizza base too.
So happy to hear you're enjoying the recipe, Phoebe! Sounds great with curry too :P
Wow! Not only are you the queen of desserts for savouries as well! This looks so cool and it's nice to have a little variation now and then! But if you used plain flour instead of rice flour, would you leave out the tapioca starch? I'm looking so forward to making this! Thank you!
Hi Michelle, yes sorry I forgot to say that -- if you use regular flour, then no need for the tapioca starch (just use more flour instead). Enjoy! :)
Mmm, these look so much like naans but the healthier version! so clever, Audrey, would love to make some too!
Thanks Natalia :) They're like a potato-stuffed naan -- something I never got to taste since I discovered that those exist only after I was gluten-free, so this is as close as I'd get to one of those at this stage ?
Casey the College Celiac says
Potato bread that's also GLUTEN FREE? Girl, you are speaking my taste buds' language to a T!
I hear ya -- potatoes are a daily occurrence over here too ??
Oh Audrey, I want some now!! In the last week, I've been looking for flatbread type of recipes to try and made one out of chickpea, but this looks sooo devine. Can't wait to make it ? Thank you xx
Hi Tina ?? Oh, these are really fin, though I love chickpea bread too.
P.S. here are a couple more you can try out (from other blogs):
http://nutritiontwins.com/608-chickpea-flatbread/#.UMusjHeDmSq (chickpea flatbread)
http://www.feastingonfruit.com/vegan-gluten-free-sweet-potato-flatbread/ (potato + sweet potato)
I have missed farls so much, thank you for doing this recipe!
Yay -- enjoy them, Erin! :)
Oh. my. goodness. <3 <3 <3 I hope you step away from sweets more often!! ;) Don't get me wrong, I do love your desserts but I am always happy to find new ways to feed my addiction to all things potato. :) I am so making this for breakfast. Nice one Audrey!
Hehe. I'm afraid I myself have become a bit of a potato head lately ? I hope Sam likes these and that the name continues to give you giggles ?
Thank you for this yummy-looking recipe! Does it matter what kind of potato I use? Is there no need to peel the potatoes?
I've made it with all kinds of potatoes and it always worked, so I'd say it doesn't matter. I've made it with red potatoes, yukon gold, and regular ol' white potatoes and they turned out each time.
I don't peel mine -- that adds a bit of texture into the bread/pancakes, but if you prefer you can definitely peel yours. I'd say it's optional.
Hey Audrey does is have to be rice flour?
Or can I use plain flour?
Hi Emma, plain flour would absolutely work well (that's the traditional way of making it :) ).
You can even increase the amount of flour a bit so that the dough can become kneadable by hand if you prefer as well (as opposed to the scooping method I used).
Would this work if I substituted brown rice for the white rice?
Hi Jennifer -- absolutely :)