Posted: 24 May '12 by Niall and Kelly
There are a lot of recipes on the internet from Irish Potato Bread, but there’s always something wrong with them – and when I say “wrong” I mean “not the way my Mum makes it”.
Potato bread is a flat bread typically made with left-over potatoes from your Friday or Saturday night meal. Although it’s great when it’s toasted and slathered with plenty of salty butter, the best way to enjoy it is to shallow-fry the potato bread in oil, which gives it a slightly crisp, golden crust, but it stays dense and soft inside. Served with sausages, bacon, soda farls and fried egg, it’s an integral part of the Sunday Morning Fry, an event which has an almost religious significance throughout Ireland.
The bit that most recipes get wrong is that they do everything is one go, but that’s not usually how it happens. I mean, who wants to be mixing, kneading and rolling dough first thing on a Sunday morning! So potato bread is prepared and griddled on a Saturday evening, ready for the big event the next morning.
A word of warning, though – it’s addictive! You might remember Elham, one of our contributors who moved to London – well, she introduced her boyfriend to potato bread and was presented with a very specific shopping list when she came back to Belfast for a few days:
Olly, this recipe’s for you!
You can see the photos here:
- 50g plain flour – and more for rolling the cooking the dough
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 25g of butter
- 250g of mashed potatoes
- 2 tbsp of milk
- Place the flour, baking powder and butter in a bowl, and use your finger-tips to rub the butter into the flour. You should end up with a mixtures that looks like breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the mashed potatoes – you might need to add some milk to loosen the mixture up – but you should end up with a soft but dry dough.
- Use some more flour to dust a work surface and a rolling pin, place the dough onto the surface, and roll it out until it is about 1 or 11/2cms thick.
- Take a knife and cut the dough into portions – you don’t have to be too exact, but make sure each slice is a decent serving – roughly 12cms square.
- At this point, you could take a couple of farls and simply shallow-fry them in oil, but we’re going to griddle ours in batches so they’re ready for frying or toasting the following morning.
- Take a non-stick pan and dust the surface with some more flour and place over a medium to low heat.
- Place a couple of slices of your potato bread into the pan and allow them to brown and develop a firm crust. Each side will take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the heat.
- As each batch cooks, remove the potato bread and stack them on a dish or in a container.
And that’s it!