Killer’s Potato Flatbread with Garlic Butter, Cheese and Baby Kale
Mixing potato with flour makes for a chewy and oh-so-comforting dough (think Italian gnocchi or Scottish tattie scones). In Ireland, that results in the potato farl, a thick, savoury pancake of sorts that manages to be light and airy, and pairs well with… well, just about anything. Poached eggs, smoked fish, salty ham, even a simple slathering of butter — they’re all wonderful.
As food journalist Hugh Arnold noted in "The Irish Times", the Irish “excel at potatoes.” No wonder, then, that when we asked Greg Spring, founder and creative director of Hen’s Teeth Dublin, to create a unique recipe fit for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, he landed on this cheesy potato farl something delicious that’s also quick and easy to prepare for a flurry of guests.
Sidenote: If you’re not familiar with Hen’s Teeth, it’s a café, store, gallery and creative studio in Dublin where a love for great food, art, music and culture all come together. There, head chef Killian “Killer” Walsh (formerly of the Michelin-starred L’Enclume and Pied à Terre) creates contemporary Irish food with influences from his time spent in kitchens around the globe.
Like the classic potato farl, Killian’s recipe uses grated potato and flour. It includes buttermilk for an extra-creamy texture, and is topped with wild garlic butter, baby kale, smoked scamorza and local Irish cheddar before getting fired in the oven. Killian recommends Coolattin cheddar, a local, clover-fed cow’s cheese from West Wicklow, but you can use your favourite aged cheddar if none is available near you. The garlicky butter, crisp kale, and melty cheese work together to create layers of irresistible flavour and texture. The resulting flatbreads are larger than a dough ball but smaller than a pizza, making them an ideal party food. These require no resting or fermentation, so they can be whipped up day-of and served to hungry guests within hours.
Notes: Killian’s toppings are delicious suggestions, but feel free to swap them out for ingredients of your own choosing. These flatbreads are extremely versatile and will pair well with other cheeses, veg, and meats.
1 ½ hours total; 40 minutes active
Makes 5 potato and cheese flatbreads
For the flatbreads
250 grams floury potatoes
kosher salt (for the potatoes)
150 grams tipo ‘00’ flour
5 grams bicarbonate of soda
25 grams unsalted butter, softened
20 grams buttermilk
5 grams freshly ground black pepper
5 grams fine sea salt
semolina or polenta, for dusting
For the topping
30 grams salted butter, melted
5 grams garlic, minced or puréed
generous handful baby kale
13 grams extra-virgin olive oil (and more for garnish)
fine sea salt
80 grams Coolattin cheddar (or your preferred variety), grated
80 grams smoked scamorza, to taste
Set a large pot of salted water on high heat and bring to a boil. In the meantime, peel and grate the potatoes. Rinse off any excess starch and blanch them in the boiling water until almost fully cooked (about 10 to 15 minutes). Drain and let cool.
Squeeze out as much water as possible using a muslin cloth or nut milk bag (a paper towel or clean cooking towel will work, too).
Fire up your oven, aiming for 400°C to 450°C on the baking stone inside. Use an infrared thermometer to quickly and accurately check the temperature of the stone.
Melt the butter, mix in the garlic, and set aside. Toss the kale leaves in the olive oil, season with salt, and reserve.
Transfer the cool, dry grated potatoes to a large bowl. Add the remaining flatbread ingredients and mix by hand until a rough dough forms.
Use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough until it's 1-centimetre thick. Use the fluted pastry cutter to cut 5 round flatbreads. Each flatbread can then be dusted lightly with semolina (or a pinch of extra flour), ready to be transferred to your peel to top.
Brush the flatbreads with melted garlic butter and top with grated cheddar to lightly coat. Crumble as much of the scamorza as you like over the top, then finish with a couple of baby kale leaves. You can top and cook as many at once as you feel confident with (though we recommend 2 to 3 at a time).
Launch the flatbreads into the oven and cook for 2 minutes, rotating every 45 seconds or so, until the dough is browned and the cheese is nicely melted.
Retrieve the flatbreads and finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a scattering of grated cheddar.
Serve warm and enjoy.