Fluffy and delicious, this Vegan Irish Soda Bread is the PERFECT no-knead quickbread. It’s yeast-free, cheap, & comes together in an hour.
- 600g (about 4 ¾ cups, spooned and leveled) unbleached all purpose flour (see note 1)
- 3 tbsp organic cane sugar (see note 3)
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened unflavored non-dairy milk
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (see note 4)
- 1 cup raisins, optional
- Note: You don’t need anything fancy for this bread. Some folks bake this free-form on a baking tray, but I prefer to throw it in a greased round pie dish. It will also work in an oven safe skillet or any cake pan (also greased). I use coconut cream to grease mine but you could use vegan butter or a spray option.
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius) and grease whatever vessel you choose. If baking free-form, line your baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Make vegan buttermilk: In a measuring cup or small bowl, mix 1 ½ cups unsweetened unflavored non-dairy milk and 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and whisk it or stir with a fork until well combined. Let sit for at least 5 minutes.
- Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Create a small well in the center and pour in the vegan buttermilk. Stir until you have a nicely formed dough. It should be moist and super soft, but not sticky. If using, add the raisins in and stir gently.. If it’s sticky, sprinkle in a bit more flour and work it in gently with your hands. If it just won’t come together, add a bit of non-dairy milk or warm water, a tablespoon at a time. It’s easy to overdo it so just be patient.
- Fold the dough: Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Fold the dough in on itself gently for about 30 seconds. We’re not kneading here (that will make the bread too tough), just bringing it together.
- Add to baking dish: Then add it to your baking dish or tray. Pat it out till it reaches the edges if using a walled vessel, making sure that it stays around 1 ½” high. If baking free-form, pat it into a raised circle, about 1 ½” high.
- Slash the bread: To help it cook evenly, we’re going to slash the bread. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, slash the bread deeply across, creating a large x or + from edge to edge. Let it spread a fair amount--this is not like the shallow slashing done on sourdough bread. Slash your bread maybe a third of the way deep. Otherwise your bread will let heat out wherever it chooses. I didn’t slash enough the first time and the bread cracked all the way around the circumference of it!
- Bake: No need to cover, just pop it in the oven. Bake it for 15 minutes at 450 F (232 C) and then WITHOUT OPENING THE OVEN, turn down the heat to 400 F (205 C) and bake for 32-34 more minutes or until nicely golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let cool in the dish for about 10 minutes.
- Chill out: Then, run a butter knife around the inner edge of the dish and transfer the bread to a wire cooling rack. I know it’s hard, but let the bread cool completely before slicing. It’s still technically cooking as it cools down. If you cut it too soon, the texture will be a bit mushy or dense. Seriously, just wait about an hour--go walk the dog, read, watch a program on Netflix, clean, anything. I recommend covering it with a clean kitchen towel so it doesn’t harden too much as it dries.
- Serve: Serve the bread with a thick delicious soup like vegan beef stew or some vegan butter. You can warm it up beforehand if you’d like.
- Store: Store the bread in a bread cloche or other covered area on the counter.
- Note 1: Please carefully measure your flour. I prefer to weigh my flour using an inexpensive kitchen scale to make sure I get consistent results every time. A scale was a GAME CHANGER for me and my baking. I give details on measuring flour this way in the article above.
- Note 2: All you need for this simple recipe is plain unbleached all purpose flour. I mentioned above that some folks do a mix of white and wheat flour. Or you could try spelt. You could also use a good quality gluten-free flour if you want to try making this a gluten-free bread. I’ve had good results with King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour and Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour when I’ve baked with either of them. With any of these options, you may need a bit more hydration to achieve a nice dough, but you’ll know you need more liquid if the dough just won’t come together.
- Note 3: This recipe uses just a few tablespoons of organic sugar mostly for flavor and balance. It’s not required as this isn’t a yeasted bread so you don’t have to feed the yeast with sugar. But I highly recommend not skipping the sugar. You could use coconut or date sugar if you want a less refined option.
- Note 4: The vegan buttermilk is not optional. Don’t worry, you can make this at home and it only takes a minute. Simply mix an unsweetened non-dairy milk (like almond, oat, or soy) with an acid. I like to use apple cider vinegar, but lemon juice or another vinegar would work just as well. You just let it sit 5-10 minutes and it will curdle… and that’s buttermilk!
- Category: Bread, Baking
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American, Irish
Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Can Be Gluten-Free, Vegan Irish Soda Bread, Vegan Soda Bread