I had bacon with them, naturally. And a poached egg. Oh and mushrooms. There’s no point messing about when it comes to brunch.
Somehow, I did not know about potato cakes. I think I’m in love. Their fluffy texture, almost like that of a thick pancake, sends them rocketing up the comfort food scale only pausing briefly to turn back and stick two fingers up to toast. They are perfect slabs of doughy carb, ready and willing to soak up the runny yolk from a just-poached egg. Top and bottom are burnished golden and crisp, like a bubble and squeak.
This recipe is from king of dough Dan Lepard; he adds parsley which brings a nice savoury note. I push it a little further with some finely chopped spring onion. We ate the first wedges as above. The rest I ate very shortly afterwards (about 30 seconds), straight from the pan with my hands.
They’re dead easy to make, too. You have to cook a couple of spuds but then it’s just mix your wet ingredients, mix your dry ingredients, combine them, slop into the pan and cook. I reckon it’s even do-able with a hangover.
Potato cakes with parsley and spring onion
(adapted only slightly from The Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard)
125g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 medium egg
100ml milk, at 20C (I just heated mine briefly in a pan until it was warm and it was fine)
60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g potatoes, cooked and mashed
4 spring onions finely, chopped (white and green parts)
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
Mix the flour, soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and mix it into the flour with your fingers until the lumps are gone.
In a separate bowl, mix the mashed potato with the egg then beat in the milk, parsley and spring onion. Combine the egg and potato mix with the flour and butter mix and combine well into a sticky dough. Heat a large frying pan or skillet (I used the latter) then melt 1 tablespoon of dripping or vegetable oil in the pan. Make sure it coats the whole base of the pan. Scrape the dough into the pan and then do your best to spread it out a bit into a circle.
Leave to cook for 4-5 minutes, ideally with a lid on. When the base is crisp and lightly golden, loosen the edges with a spatula. Take a very well-oiled plate (that’s important, don’t be shy with the oil) and flip the cake out of the pan and on to it. You can then slide the cake back into the pan to cook the other side. This is why you need to oil the plate well – if you don’t the uncooked doughy side will stick to it. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes then either turn it out or cut wedges from the pan. I recommend bacon, mushrooms and a poached egg as accompaniments. I’m not going to get into a debate about sauce.