Irish Soda Farls Recipe: A Traditional Irish Recipe

What are Irish Soda Farls?

Irish Soda Farls is an Irish Flatbread made with Flour, Bread Soda, Buttermilk and Salt. It is cooked on a pan or hotplate. Baking soda and buttermilk act as a rising agent and give the bread a unique flavour.

The Humble Soda Farl

In the rich tapestry of Irish cuisine, the humble Irish soda farl is one culinary delight that stands out. A flatbread with a distinct texture and slightly tangy flavour, soda farls have become a staple in Irish households, gracing the table at various times throughout the day.

soda farls with a full irish breakfast
Full Irish Breakfast with Soda Farls

When To Eat Them

  1. Breakfast Bliss: Irish soda farls often stand out in the traditional Full Irish Breakfast. Served warm and slathered in butter, soda farls provide a hearty foundation to complement the savoury breakfast. Their ability to absorb flavours and add a satisfying chewiness makes them a breakfast favourite.
  2. Brunch Bonanza: Soda Farls seamlessly transition into the brunch scene, becoming the canvas for various toppings. Smoked salmon, cream cheese, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs create a sophisticated brunch option. Add bacon, eggs, and avocado to turn the humble farl into a trendy and satisfying dish.
  3. Tea-Time Treat: As the day unfolds, Irish soda farls often return during the afternoon tea ritual. Whether enjoyed with a spread of jams and clotted cream or served alongside a warm pot of tea, Soda Farls add a touch of comfort to the midday break.
  4. Soup Sidekick: Their versatility extends to savoury moments as well. Irish soda farls are frequently served as a side to soups and stews, soaking up the flavorful broth. The provide a wholesome accompaniment to a comforting bowl of homemade goodness.
  5. Late-Night Snacking: In some households, especially during casual gatherings or late-night snacks, soda farls make a convenient and satisfying option. Topped with cheese, ham, or enjoyed on their own, they offer a quick and delicious bite when hunger strikes at night.
  6. Everyday Elegance: Beyond specific occasions, Irish soda farls are a part of everyday meals. Their simplicity and ability to complement a wide range of flavours make them a versatile addition to any Irish kitchen. They are equally at home on the breakfast table as a base for a quick sandwich or a light dinner.

In essence, Irish soda farls are more than just a type of bread. They are a cultural emblem, reflecting the adaptability and resourcefulness of Irish cuisine. Regardless of the time of day, soda bread is a testament to the enduring appeal of Ireland’s culinary traditions.

Traditional Irish Soda Farls Recipe Loved Across Ireland

This Irish Soda Farls Recipe is a quick and easy way to make great traditional Irish bread. Irish Soda Farls are great on their own but are fantastic when served with an Ulster Fry (bacon, sausage, fried eggs, black and white pudding and fried tomatoes). Find out more about the full Irish Breakfast in my article.

It is easy to make and will give you a real taste of Irish cooking in your home.  I hope you try making soda farls yourself.

For a complete list of all my Irish recipes, click the link to visit my article on Irish Recipes.

Making Soda Farls

Soda Farls were traditionally cooked on a cast Iron hot plate over an open fire. The Irish Soda Farls in this recipe make delicious soda farls on your stovetop at home.

This traditional Irish Soda Farls recipe uses ingredients such as flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk to create a lightly risen bread with a unique taste.

Baking soda and buttermilk have been used in Irish cooking for generations as raising agents for bread, such as our traditional Irish Soda Bread and Irish buttermilk Scones, (recipes available in links provided).  The buttermilk adds a slightly sour flavour while acting as an acid to get the baking soda to activate.

How to Make Soda Farls

Below is a very easy-to-follow recipe to teach you how to make soda farls in your home.  It is a straightforward method and is excellent on the weekends, especially after a few pints the night before.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it.

If you enjoyed this recipe, why not try my Traditional Irish Lamb Stew Recipe that’s easy and a taste of Ireland.

5 from 4 votes
Irish Soda Farls recipe
Irish Soda Farls Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Traditional Irish Soda Farls – This traditional Irish Bread is great slathered with Creamy Irish Butter but is also a key part of the traditional Ulster Fry. Try it and you will fall in love with it too.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: how to make irish soda farls, how to make soda farls, irish soda farls, irish soda farls recipe, what are soda farls
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 287 kcal
Author: J.J. Sheridan
  • 300 g Plain White Flour
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 250 ml Buttermilk
  • Pinch of Salt
  1. Once ingredient are weighed out preheat a heavy bottomed pan on a medium to medium high heat.

  2. Mix the flour, salt and baking soda together and make a well in the middle.

  3. Working quickly mix in the buttermilk into the flour with your hand to make a soft dough.

  4. Turn the dough out onto a light floured surface and shape the dough into a round flattening it so its about 1 1/2 cm high.

  5. Place it into your preheated pan and score the top with a knife in a cross shape making 4 equal quarters.  There is no need to add oil to the pan but you can sprinkle a little flour to prevent sticking if you wish.

  6. Turn over after approx 10 minutes and cook on the other side for another 10 minutes until the bread is nicely risen and is cooked through.

  7. Once cooked remove from pan and break into 4 quarters and serve with your traditional ulster fry or on their own with Irish butter. Enjoy.

Recipe Notes

Allergens:  Contains Milk, Wheat (gluten)

What are soda farls made of?

Soda Farls are made of Flour, Bread Soda, Buttermilk and Salt. The Bread Soda and Buttermilk act as a raising event and add flavour to the soda farls. They are cooking on a pan over a flame.

What’s the difference between soda bread and soda farls?

Soda Bread is baked in the oven while soda farls are cooked on a stove on a pan or hotplate.

What’s the difference between sourdough bread and Irish soda bread?

Sourdough bread is allowed to prove to develop a sour flavour. Irish Soda Bread is mixed and cooked or baked without a need to prove and develop flavour.

If you are interested in visiting my home in Cork, read my article on the Best Restaurants in Cork City.

About the author
J.J. Sheridan
My Name is JJ Sheridan, born in Cork Ireland but spent most of my childhood in County Tipperary. I've been a Chef for a large number of years and have worked in a number of award winning restaurants. I love using local ingredients whenever possible in my food so that I can showcase the best of Irish. My passion is to share with you the best restaurants across Ireland from a Chefs perspective. For many years restaurants have been at the hands of the "food critic". Most of the time these critics will visit the same old restaurants and heap praise on them. Often forgetting about the smaller restaurants who are paving the way for Irish Cuisine. My Goal is to higlight all restaurants, especially the ones the so called food experts never visit and give you a complete list of the best Irish Restaurants to visit.

7 thoughts on “Irish Soda Farls Recipe: A Traditional Irish Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you so very much for sharing your information about traditional Irish recipes with the visual instructions. Grandparents SCOT-IRISH, grandmother from the MacDougall clan, grandfather the Wallace clan. The Outlander series has been a blessing for many of us who are Scottish & Irish descendants. Thank you

    • Plain flour is used in soda bread dishes. The soda comes from adding in bread soda into the flour. Baking soda is also known as bicarbonate of soda and is used as a leavening agent to make the bread rise. I have never come across soda flour but I presume you are talking about flour that has either bread soda or baking soda already added such as self-raising flour. The problem with this type of flour is you don’t have as much control over the amount of leavening agent as you would with a plain flour and adding your required amount of soda. I hope this answers your question.


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