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Vegan Irish Soda Bread on a cutting board

Vegan Irish Soda Bread


  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Fluffy and delicious, this Vegan Irish Soda Bread is the PERFECT no-knead quickbread. It’s yeast-free, cheap, & comes together in an hour.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Store: Store the bread in a bread cloche or other covered area on the counter.

Notes

  • 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