My Vegan Irish Soda bread is a tasty rustic, no-yeast and no-knead bread!
Super quick and easy you can have a loaf ready in just an hour!
My family lived in Northern Ireland for some time and 2 of my kids can claim Irish roots! Nothing beats Irish soda bread baked in Ireland but my recipe is a delicious alternative!
Origins of Irish soda bread
Recipes for Irish soda bread have been found as far back as 1830s Ireland as it was around this time bicarbonate of soda/baking soda was invented.
Surprisingly soda bread dates even further back! Native Americans used the pearl ash that is formed when wood is burned to make soda bread! As pearl ash is a natural soda!
Irish soda bread was a staple food during the Great Irish Famine of 1845-1852 as the basic ingredients of flour, bicarbonate of soda/baking soda, buttermilk and salt made for an inexpensive bread.
Nowadays, Irish soda bread is loved globally especially during St. Patrick’s Day which is held on the 17th March.
For more information about Irish soda bread visit the website The Society for The Preservation of Soda Bread
Vegan Irish Soda Bread
My recipe for vegan Irish soda bread remains as authentic as possible as I have only included traditional ingredients. Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice is used to curdle the plant-based milk and provide the acidity required to interact with the soda and rise up a lovely rustic loaf!
The Society for the Preservation of Soda Bread state that flour, buttermilk, salt and baking soda/bicarbonate of soda is the only traditional ingredients needed for an Irish soda bread.
Serves 12-16 slices.
- Baking tray
- 500 grams strong wholemeal bread flour about 4 cups
- 400 ml plant-based milk about 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. I recommend using a soy milk. Or an oat milk.
- 1 ¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda/baking soda level off the teaspoon measurement with a knife as too much baking soda won't taste good!
- 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt fine, ground variety
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (used to curdle the soy milk)
- 1 tablespoons rolled oats this is just for adding to the top of the bread.
- Preheat your oven to 180 Fan/200 Celsius/ 400 Fahrenheit/ Gas 6.
- Prepare the soya buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to the milk. Leave for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the flour to a bowl and mix through the bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and salt. I sieve my soda to remove lumps.
- Mix through the soya buttermilk and bring together the dough. You may not need the entire quantity as usually a teaspoon or two is left.
- Place your dough on a floured surface.Don't knead the dough or overwork it.Just bring it together and pat with your hands into a circle shape about 1 1/2-2 inch high.Add extra flour if your dough is too sticky to work with. Add extra milk if your dough is too dry to form into a dough.
- Score a deep cross through the bread about 1/2 of the way down. Using a knife add a small slit at each corner/wedge.
- Brush the remaining soya buttermilk over the top off the bread. A pastry brush allows you to get all the small drips of milk off the side of the jug.
- Sprinkle the rolled oats over.
- Bake, on the middle rung of your oven, for 30-35 minutes until risen and nicely brown. Exact times will depend on your oven. I use a fan oven and my bread is usually ready after 30 minutes.
- Carefully turn your bread over and tap its underside. If it sounds hollow its ready!
- If the bread is cut whilst still very hot it will look quite dense inside so its best to wait until its cooler to enjoy! Although it will still be delicious if you can't wait!
The following nutritional information is for guidance only and is not a strict analysis. The calculation is based on the bread being cut into 16 small slices. Adjust the nutritional values according to how many slices you cut your bread into for a rough estimate!
Vegan Irish Soda Bread Recipe Notes
- Irish legend and lore claim that the reason for the large, deep cross on the soda bread is to bless the bread before baking.
- And the small slits on each wedge of the soda bread is to allow evil spirits, the devil or the fairies out of the bread before baking!
- Irish soda bread can be served sliced or use the scored cross as a guide to serve the authentic way by pulling apart wedges! Or cut into wedges for cleaner wedges! Each wedge can be cut into 4 slices to equal 16 portions.
Vegan Irish Soda Bread is the freshest when eaten on the first day but is perfectly fine on the second day!
- On the third day try toasting any leftover soda bread. It is so good toasted!
- Got a few slices left to use up? Use leftovers to make croutons for soup or stew. Or even to throw over a salad. Chop them into rough squares and toast them in an oven at 180 Fan/ 200 C/ 392 Fahrenheit /Gas 6 for about 15-20 minutes or until crunchy. You may need to turn the croutons half way through the cooking time. I add a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast and a teaspoon of onion powder to the bread squares before baking. Mix to dust in the cheezie blend. Or add your own flavourings.
Store your soda bread wrapped in a tea towel or some kitchen foil.
- Soda bread freezes well but make sure it is covered well. To freeze slices use greaseproof paper between each slice so that a slice can be removed easily from the freezer.
- A chunk of Vegan Irish soda bread accompanying a bowl of my Vegan Irish stew makes for the perfect meal! Especially in the lead up to or on St Patrick’s Day.
Or serve with my Vegan beef stew . So tasty!
- Chunks of Vegan Irish Soda bread can substitute for dumplings. Even better is that my Irish soda bread recipe does not have added fat unlike suet dumplings. Just break off pieces of soda bread and drop into each served bowl of stew. Yum!
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