All recipes for traditional soda bread contain flour, baking soda, sour milk (buttermilk) and salt.
Here is a recipe for Farls,
which is popular in Ulster, shared by permission by a visitor to the
Once in awhile my grandmother would make Farls back in the 1950s in Nenagh. I never knew why back then, but I think someone in the family moved to Tipperary from the north and brought that method into her family.
Thanks to Margaret for sharing this recipe with us.
Another visitor, Stan Russell from County Down who has been making Farls for many years (He's 75) added a note that Farls also need the step known as "Harning" which is setting them up on edge on the griddle leaning against each other for about 10 minutes so that the edges get finished off.
Stan says he uses an electric griddle these days and it works ok for him. He also adds "When I make wheaten today, due to the poor whole wheat flour here, I usually throw in a bit of wheat bran, and I find this makes it taste a wee bit more like it should."
Stan Russell, now living in Canada
Theodora Fitzgibbon was a cooking expert from the 1950s and published a number of cook books in her time. Here is a recipe from her for "griddle bread". Cut it into quarters and you have "Farls." I remember my grandmother making this griddle bread in the late 1950s.
Mix together 225 grams (8 oz) of whole meal flour, 50 g (2 oz) of white flour, a table spoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Add the buttermilk, as much as needed to obtain a fairly soft consistency. Roll onto a floured surface and shape into a round. Heat the griddle (or flat-bottomed pan) until a sprinkling of flour turns light golden; then put the cake on and cook for ten minutes each side over medium heat. Serve straight from the pan.