Nothing compares to this Incredible Irish Soda Bread with a soft crumb and perfectly golden crispy crust. The yeast-free soda bread is a gluten-free, vegan recipe to prepare when you crave tasty, quick bread.
A traditional Irish soda bread recipe typically includes wheat flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt. Other Irish soda bread recipes might also have butter, eggs, and refined sugar, which is not ideal for anyone following a healthier, gluten-free or plant-based lifestyle.
Fresh is Real’s soda bread recipe is for anyone who can’t consume gluten/wheat, eggs, dairy or nuts. And the ingredients are also free of corn, bean flour or xanthan gum.
Once you try it, you’ll see why it’s the perfect gluten-free bread recipe to whip up at any time of year, not just St. Patrick’s Day.
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love The Incredible Irish Soda Bread Recipe
- How To Make Gluten-Free Vegan Soda Bread
- Baking Tools To Make Incredible Irish Soda Bread
- Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread Ingredients
- Incredible Irish Soda Bread Substitutions
- Gluten-Free Soda Bread Tips
- What Does Soda Bread Taste Like?
- What To Eat With Soda Bread
- How To Store Soda Bread
Why You’ll Love The Incredible Irish Soda Bread Recipe
It’s the perfect beginner recipe as the Incredible Irish Soda Bread recipe is a one-bowl dough mixture that takes 10 minutes to prepare, doesn’t include rise time, and takes less than one hour to bake.
The recipe creates the softest crumb with a perfectly crispy crust that is so good, freshly baked and still a bit warm.
Golden raisins add a bit of extra sweetness, but they are optional. Alternatively, seeds, oats, or even herbs are great.
How To Make Gluten-Free Vegan Soda Bread
The process is as simple as combining the whole psyllium husk with half the warm water (100-110°F) and pure maple syrup and giving it a quick mix until the psyllium thickens. Then add the plain vegan yogurt and mix until well combined.
Secondly, add the dry ingredients and the raisins to the wet ingredients and mix a little. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of warm water and mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Transfer the sticky dough mixture to a sheet of parchment paper (12 x 12 inches) and shape it with a soft spatula into a round disk (about 2-3 inches thick in the center). Then gently smooth out the dough surface with slightly wet hands. Brush the dough with plain vegan yogurt, and with a large sharp knife, cut a cross on the surface of the dough.
Transfer the dough and parchment paper to a preheated Dutch oven (skillet or baking sheet), and bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 30 minutes covered and 15 to 20 minutes uncovered in the middle of the oven.
The Incredible Irish Soda Bread is ready when the bottom of the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped, and the sides and top are darker and crispy. If you have a digital thermometer, the bread is ready once the internal temperature reaches around 210°F. Of course, if you want your bread a little darker, let it bake for a few extra minutes.
Cool on a wire rack for 10-20 minutes, slice or break apart (even if still a bit warm), slather with your favourite buttery spread and enjoy this beautiful homemade bread with a cup of tea!
Baking Tools To Make Incredible Irish Soda Bread
A Dutch oven (7-quart or a little smaller) is highly recommended for baking gluten-free soda bread. A cast iron skillet or even a baking sheet (cookie sheet) will work too.
The other recipe baking tools are a kitchen scale, measuring cups and spoons, a large bowl, unbleached parchment paper, a soft spatula, a large spoon or wooden spoon, a large knife, and, most importantly, an oven.
If using GF oat flour, noting beats freshly milled oat flour. I use my small blender to grind my oats to flour. For this recipe, you don’t need to sift the flour.
Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread Ingredients
- Whole psyllium husk
- Warm water
- Pure maple syrup
- Plain vegan yogurt (Silk Plain Coconut Yogurt)
- GF oat flour
- Brown rice flour
- Sorghum flour
- Tapioca starch
- GF baking powder (leavening agent with baking soda)
- Sea salt
- Golden raisins, raisins or currants (optional)
Many of the GF baking ingredients are in my Amazon.com Storefront.
Incredible Irish Soda Bread Substitutions
While developing this tasty gluten-free, vegan Irish soda bread, I tested many ingredients and baking variations to create the best results. See the recipe card notes for essential ingredient substitutions for GF flour, starch, sugar, raisins, or yogurt.
Often, the main ingredient substitution questions will be for the gluten-free flour, the whole psyllium husk and, for this recipe, the plain vegan yogurt.
One option that was not yet tested was to replace the three types of GF flour and starch with a store-bought 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. Please note that if you try it, you might have to omit the whole psyllium husk or greatly reduce the amount, especially if your flour mixture includes xanthan gum.
Many prefer not to consume GF-certified oat flour. Alternatively, The next best flour for this recipe would be to try almond flour or almond meal (only if you are not allergic to nuts). Replace by weight (grams). In baked goods, oat flour and almond flour/meal are comparable.
Also, if you want to make this recipe but don’t have or can’t consume vegan yogurt, you could try souring plant milk such as homemade hemp milk or almond milk (if not allergic) with apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice or white vinegar. The soured milk replaces traditional buttermilk, and the acidity helps activate the baking soda when baking.
Comment at the bottom of this recipe post if you have additional questions.
Gluten-Free Soda Bread Tips
A great tip for this bread recipe is to use warm 100-110°F water when mixing the whole psyllium husk. It will help to gel the fibre, which is perfect to achieve the best texture for this quick bread recipe.
Don’t use too much GF baking powder in your soda bread. Too much baking powder containing baking soda will alter the taste of the bread and will also create a crumbly texture.
I tested homemade GF baking powder containing tapioca starch, baking soda and cream of tartar and Bob’s Red Mill GF baking powder (with cornstarch). One tablespoon (1 tablespoon, 14g) of either is sufficient for this Incredible Irish soda bread recipe.
Using a preheated Dutch oven, baked gorgeous soda bread with a perfect texture. If you only have a cast iron skillet or even a baking sheet, it will work too.
For the cross traditionally cut across the top of the loaf, try and cut it at least 1/2 inch deep or else this gluten-free version will fill in while baking. And if it does happen, it’s not a big deal. It will still taste amazing.
What Does Soda Bread Taste Like?
If you’ve been gluten-free and vegan for a while, you will be amazed by the soft texture the simple, quick bread creates. The plain vegan yogurt helps to bake the most Incredible Irish Soda Bread and contributes to the light crumb. It’s an amazing, yeast-free bread recipe that is surprisingly not dense.
If you leave out the raisins, the bread won’t be sweet. The little bit of sugar, in this case, pure maple syrup, doesn’t make the bread sweet. If you can’t have sugar at all, you can leave it out and make sure to use unsweetened vegan yogurt.
After you make it once, consider replacing the raisins with other add-in ingredients such as herbs (i.e., caraway seeds, thyme), seeds, nuts (if not allergic), olives, or vegan cheese—the possibilities are endless!
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What To Eat With Soda Bread
The best way to eat soda bread is while it’s still warm, with a buttery spread. Nothing compares to that first bite of freshly baked bread!
If you add raisins to your bread, a slice is also good with a seed/nut/peanut spread (if you are not allergic). With jam would also be delicious.
The Incredible Irish Soda Bread is very tasty with soup or stew. It’s also a great way to sponge the extra sauce in various creamy dishes.
You can toast leftovers and enjoy a slice for breakfast, lunch or snack time.
Making garlic bread (with a version without raisins) with leftover slices would be equally amazing!
YouTube Recipe Video
How to Store Soda Bread
For the first hour or two, you can leave the bread on a wire rack. Another option is to wrap the soda bread (once cooled) in a clean tea towel until ready to serve.
The leftovers will store well in an air-tight container or reusable bag for a couple of days on the counter at room temperature. For longer storage, refrigerate the leftovers for up to 5 days.
More Yeast-Free Bread Recipes
Visit the yeast-free bread section for more beautiful recipes without commercial yeast or gluten-free sourdough starter.
The yeast-free bread recipe (photo above) was adapted to create this soda bread recipe.
Questions Before You Start?
The best way to ask your recipe questions is in the comments of this post (scroll to the bottom) or the Facebook group.
The group is a great place to ask allergen-friendly baking questions, get tips, inspiration and share recipes! Join our amazing and friendly Gluten-Free Vegan Baking by Fresh is Real Facebook Group!
Nothing compares to this Incredible Irish Soda Bread with a soft crumb and perfectly golden crispy crust. The yeast-free soda bread is a gluten-free, vegan recipe to prepare when you crave tasty, quick bread. The recipe does not contain corn, bean flour or xanthan gum.
Baking Tools: Dutch oven or cast iron skillet or baking sheet, kitchen scale, measuring cups/spoons, a large bowl, unbleached parchment paper, a soft spatula, a spoon, a large knife, and, most importantly, an oven.
- 14g (2 rounded tablespoons) whole psyllium husk
- 240g/240ml (1 cup) warm 100-110°F water, divided
- 18g (1 tablespoon) pure maple syrup
- 250g (1 cup) plain vegan yogurt*. See notes
- 90g (1 cup) GF oat flour**
- 90g (3/4 cup) brown rice flour
- 90g (3/4 cup) sorghum flour
- 60g (1/2 cup) tapioca starch
- 14g (1 tablespoon) GF baking powder***
- 3g (1/2 teaspoon) sea salt
- 50g (1/3 cup) golden raisins (optional)
Watch the recipe video before you begin.
STEP 1 – Preheat the oven and Dutch oven to 425°F—place in the center of the oven. Set out one sheet of unbleached parchment paper, approximately 12 x 12 inches.
STEP 2 – Mix 1/2 cup of warm water with the whole psyllium husk and maple syrup in a large mixing bowl and mix with a spoon. Then add the vegan yogurt and mix well. Keep the empty yogurt cup handy.
STEP 3 – To the wet mixture, add the dry ingredients: flour combo, starch, GF baking powder, sea salt, and raisins and mix a little. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of warm water and mix until all the dry bits are incorporated.
STEP 4 – Transfer the dough to a sheet of unbleached parchment paper with a soft spatula. Shape the dough into a disk (2-3 inches thick and 6-7 inches round) with the same spatula. With slightly wet hands, smooth out the texture a bit. Scrape down the sides of your yogurt cup and brush the top of your dough with a bit of yogurt.
STEP 5 – Transfer dough with parchment paper to your preheated Dutch oven. Bake for 30 minutes covered and 10-20 minutes uncovered. Fifty minutes will bake a nice crusty loaf. The bread is ready once the internal temperature reaches 210°F, and the bottom crust is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
STEP 6 – Cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack, and enjoy warm!
Use a cast iron skillet or regular baking sheet if you don’t have a Dutch oven. You can preheat the cast iron skillet, but doing so with the baking sheet is unnecessary.
Substitute pure maple syrup with coconut palm sugar.
Substitute plain vegan yogurt with plant milk (i.e. homemade hemp milk) soured with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice or white vinegar. It will work, but it won’t be as tasty as using yogurt!
(NOT Tested Yet) Replace the flour combo and starch by weight (grams) with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. Adding whole psyllium husk might not be necessary if your GF flour blend includes xanthan gum.
Substitute GF oat flour with almond meal/flour by weight (if not allergic to nuts).
Substitute tapioca starch with potato starch.
Substitute sorghum flour with millet flour.
Substitute brown rice flour with light buckwheat flour (someone tried quinoa flour with success).
Substitute golden raisins for raisins or currants, or leave them out.
*I used Silk Plain Coconut Yogurt. It doesn’t include gums and only 1g of sugar per 3/4 cup.
**Milling/grinding GF oats into flour creates the freshest oat flour.
***My homemade GF baking powder contains tapioca starch, cream of tartar and baking soda. I also tested Bob’s Red Mill GF Baking Powder containing different ingredients, including cornstarch.
Keywords: Soda Bread, Irish Soda Bread, Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread, Vegan Soda Bread