This recipe, adapted from Guardian food writer Dan Lepard’s acclaimed “Short and Sweet, the Best of Home Baking,” combines a traditional Northern Irish and Scottish griddle bread known as a farl with popular American fall flavors. It’s a savory, not sweet, pumpkin bread with a gnocchi-like texture..
Farl is an old Scottish word for a quarter, In the days before ovens, bread was baked in a griddle over an open fire and traditionally cut into quarters or “farls” before cooking. Use a heavy bottomed pan such as a cast iron frying pan.
I departed from Lepard’s recipe by adding pumpkin pie spice to the dough. The prepared mixture from my local spice store included Saigon and Indonesian cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mace, allspice and cloves.
- 150 g/half a large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 250 g/8 oz. cooked, mashed pumpkin
- 50 ml/ 1/4 cup hard cider
- 250 g/8 oz. all purpose flour, plus 2 tbsp. extra for shaping
- 75 g/3 oz.grated cheddar
- 1 tsp. table salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- unflavored vegetable oil such as grapeseed
- Put onion and butter in a saucepan on a low heat with the lid on for 5 minutes until it sizzles. Turn the heat off and leave it to steam for another 5 minutes.
- Tip the onions and juices into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with all the other ingredients except the vegetable oil to form a soft dough.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Divide in two. Flour and roll each piece to 1 cm/1/2 inch thick. Cut into quarters.
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed skillet until it's hot, but not smoking. Using a spatula, place 3 or 4 farls into the pan,leaving enough room between them to flip them. Keep the heat low so it takes about 4 minutes for the farl to become brown and crisp on one side. When brown, carefully flip farls over using a spatula. Fry the other side until it is also crisp and brown. Then cook the remaining quarters.
If using fresh pumpkin, use two small, sweet pie pumpkins. Wash and cut in half. Scoop out the seeds. Place the pumkin halves flesh side down on a rack over a baking sheet. Roast in a preheated 400 degree oven until the pumpkin flesh is soft and dark orange, about 40 minutes. Let pumpkins cook before scooping out the flesh.