Taste Scene

Michael Devlin

Gluten free potato bread

The hungry eye sees far... Sarah gets ready to sample the fruits of her labour.

The hungry eye sees far… Sarah gets ready to sample the fruits of her labour.

Here’s a tip for future life fulfilment: Don’t take beans with your fry.

I took beans with a fry recently – by mistake – and I was this close *holds up forefinger and thumb* to scraping the lot into the bin in a huff.


Picture the scene: You’ve gone to all the trouble of making the potato bread from scratch – gluten free to boot – and upon eating the fry,  you dip your home-made farl into a soft-poached egg: It tastes of beans. BOOM! 

Through an enormous effort in self-restraint I just about managed not to overturn the kitchen table and fire the fry out through the window. Instead, I made do with a soft curse under my breath.

I like beans on toast as much as the next man but when you have them as an add-on to a fry, they do tend to take over the whole show.

No matter what other condiments you use – red sauce, brown sauce, soy sauce – everything will taste of beans. The bacon tastes of beans. The sausages taste of beans. Everything tastes of beans.

As God is my witness, I will never eat beans again with a fry – ever. Even if, when I die, I am taken to Heaven and if God himself is cooking a fry (the morning after we’ve had one or two too many), to try and throw some shape on us for the day ahead.

And if He presents the plate to yours truly with beans thereon… I’ll have to say, “Sorry bud. No beans.”

As I say, I was particularly annoyed with my culinary faux pas because I had made this batch of potato bread from scratch and because it was such a success. I had already eaten a couple of discs of the stuff the night before with as little embellishment as a spreading of butter and sea salt. It was outstanding.


Sometimes these notions take me and when faced with a bowl of mash headed for the bin, I’ll stand on after having dinner and make some potato bread for the next day’s breakfast.

Last week’s creation was all the more impressive because it was gluten free.

If you don’t have gluten-free flour in the house, just use the bog standard plain stuff. The main flavour train here is the butter and the seasoned spuds anyway.

The next time you’re having spuds for dinner, put on a few extras and give this a crack.


250g (or thereabouts) of cold mashed spuds
1 heaped tbsp of melted butter (about 30g)
50g of the flour of your choice (I used Dove Farm Gluten Free)
big pinch of sea salt
white pepper
butter for frying


This is pretty easy and if you have some little humans about who can help with the mixing and forming of the pancakes, so much the better.

To your cold mashed (lump-free) spuds, add the flour, salt and pepper and mix well to combine.

Add the melted butter and mix again.

Don’t be afraid to add another teaspoon of flour if the dough doesn’t look firm enough. You want a firm but mouldable dough.

Take a small handful of the dough in floured hands and form into a round pancake shape. Repeat until all the dough is used up.

Rub a heavy-based frying pan or skillet with a touch of butter (purists including my ma will say you’re not supposed to grease the pan, but I think it gives things an added golden loveliness), and on a  medium heat fry the potato bread in batches until it’s all done.

Depending on thickness, the pancakes will take anything between three and six minutes on either side. But you’ll know they’re ready when they’re golden and irresistible on both sides.

These are best eaten as soon as they come off the pan but they’ll happily live under a clean tea towel until the following morning when you’re making that fry.

Remember though: No beans.

Read the full story in this week’s paper, available in your local newsagents today or subscribe to our Digital Edition by clicking below

Sometimes the best things I make at home are the most unobtrusive.

This might sound like a odd recommendation for someone who has sworn himself off beer for the foreseeable future...

You know what custard is in French? It’s called ‘creme Anglaise’ (English cream). Lah-dee-dah!