traybakes & more

retro recipes for the modern baker

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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  1. Had these yesterday… along with samples of treacle farls, wheaten falls, champ fadge and pancakes – more like drop scones than crepes. (Baking demo at a senior’s group in Belfast….)
    We use it for Ulster Pizza – with bacon, tomato and grated cheddar grilled. And a pot of strongish Nambarrie.
    Great recipe.

  2. i had no idea these were so simple to make 🙂 I’ll give them a shot soon, thanks!

    also, i’ve never heard of/used cream of tartar before, is there another name for it/a close substitute that i can use?

    • There isn’t another name that I’m aware of. You should be able to find it in the baking aisle near the baking powder etc. It just acts as a further raising agent. If you can’t find it, it would be OK to leave it out as many other soda farl recipes don’t include it. Thanks!

  3. Have tried these but for some reason the outsides are always darker than I want, insides are delicious. Skillet too high do you think ?

  4. Felicitas Scullion

    May 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    I have been trying to source “ yellow meal” which my mother used to make yellow meal bread …..this was over 55 years ago !! I understand this meal was called Indian meal …it was , also, yellow in colour …… Is it possible to get this anymore so to make yellow meal soda bread ? I remember eating it as a child… was 😋😋😋 !! Thank you , in anticipation !!

  5. Yep, Indian Meal and Corn Meal are one and the same. I remember eating warm ‘Indian Soda Farls’ dripping with Dromona butter. Yum!

  6. Great recipe and you’ve made an expat NI family very happy. Had a real notion for toasted soda last night and my search led me to your recipe, which I conveniently had all the ingredients for 🙂

    We moved to California from NI 18 months ago and this is a real taste of home for us, so thanks for taking the time to create and share such a simple but rewarding recipe.

    Genuinely delighted with how this turned out!

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