traybakes & more

retro recipes for the modern baker

Category: Breads/scones

Traditional Soda Farls

It’s been a while since I’ve had a savory recipe on the blog, so I thought it was about time to venture back into the ‘& more’ section of traybakes & more. It’s also been an even longer while since I made these Traditional Soda Farls (which my autocorrect keeps trying to change to farms!) but once I had made them, I was left wondering why I don’t make these more often. Wheaten bread is my usual go-to bake when I need bread in a hurry – and I’ll aim to have my recipe for that on the blog soon – then I made Soda Farls for the first time in ages and realized they are even easier and quicker to make.

Traditional Soda Farls are incredibly versatile and work with sweet or savory fillings and toppings. They taste great when freshly baked and slathered in butter. Also great when toasted and spread with jam. And they make a great breakfast sandwich with crisp, smokey bacon and a runny fried egg (brown sauce for me please).

Although technically these aren’t a bake as you cook them on a griddle. If you’re not sure what a griddle is or even if you have one in your kitchen, well, I used my non stick frying pan and that did the job admirably! You just need a flat surface that you can heat on the stove to a low-medium heat. 


10oz/280g/2½ cups plain flour (all-purpose flour)

1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

½ tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

8 floz/250ml/1 cup buttermilk


1. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

2. Slowly add the buttermilk and mix to a soft dough. Don’t add all the buttermilk at once, incase you need a little less than the recipe states. Work quickly and lightly – don’t overwork the dough!

3. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and roll out until it’s approximately ½ inch/1¼ cm thick. Cut into four farls.

4. Bake on a griddle or frying pan on a medium low heat for 15-20 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove when golden brown and wrap in a cloth until cool (this keeps the crust soft).

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Treacle Scones

Scones are a big part of Northern Irish baking. To be honest, scones are popular on both sides of the Atlantic, although the American variety do tend to be bigger. These Treacle Scones are a nice variation on a plain scone (recipe here). They are a little sweet and the treacle adds a lovely depth of flavor and color. Best served with a slathering of butter and your favorite jam.

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Fruit Soda Bread

Soda bread is remarkably quick and easy to make. There is no yeast involved, no proving or kneading, you just mix everything together, shape it and bake it!  All the rising comes from the reaction of the baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and buttermilk.

This Fruit Soda Bread is a firm favorite in the Traybakes’ household. While best eaten on the day it’s made (especially with a generous slathering of butter) it’s also good toasted, if you have any left after a day or two!

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Tea Loaf

I drink a lot of tea. I consider it to be a normal amount, but it’s probably well above average for my little corner of suburban Massachusetts.  Perfectly normal for Northern Ireland though.  And tea features in my baking this week.  This is a recipe for Tea Loaf.  A simple, straightforward bake that requires very little hands-on time.

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Plain Scones

Another non-traybake recipe.  But scones are very traditional in Northern Ireland and there was a recipe in one of my books, so here it is!

This is a recipe for plain scones.  No additions.   No sickly, sugary glazes (American scones, I’m looking at you here).  Just plain scones, best eaten while still warm and fresh from the oven.  With butter and jam.  Or clotted cream, if you live somewhere you can buy the proper stuff.

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