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Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread - Perfect for St Patrick’s Day!

It’s almost time for St. Patrick’s Day. With this traditional Irish holiday comes the desire to eat delicious Irish soda bread. Eating with food allergies might make you think you don’t get to enjoy it this year. We’re happy to say there are still ways to enjoy one of your St. Patrick’s Day favorites without worrying about allergies. Check out this easy gluten-free Irish soda bread recipe, made with gluten-free flour, gluten-free baking powder and baking soda, and egg replacer.

Easy Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Recipe adapted from My Gluten-Free Kitchen

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to Bake at 375°F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together gluten-free flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are pea-sized crumbs.
  5. Stir in the raisins or dried fruit.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together buttermilk and egg replacement.
  7. Add this buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.
  8. Using a spatula, gently stir this mixture.
  9. Switch to using your hands to mix the batter together to form a wet dough that you can form into a ball.
  10. The dough will be very sticky. However, you should be able to form it into a ball and place it on the parchment paper-lined baking pan.
  11. Melt one tablespoon of butter and brush the entire loaf with a pastry brush.
  12. Using a knife, cut an X shape into the top of the loaf.
  13. Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until golden brown.
  14. Let cool for ten minutes and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

What is Irish Soda Bread?

Many have heard of Irish soda bread around St. Patrick’s Day. Not everyone knows the history of it though. Sometimes it can help to know the story behind a recipe to enjoy it even more. This is definitely the case with Irish soda bread. Here a few facts you might not know about Irish soda bread:

  • Soda bread was first created in the late 1830s when the first iteration of baking soda or bicarbonate soda was introduced to the U.K.
  • Due to the financial strife of the time and limited access to ingredients, the Irish people would work to make bread from the most basic ingredients which were typically milk, flour, baking soda, salt, and soured milk.
  • This was a go-to recipe for those who lived in the most isolated of areas. Even with little access to cooking equipment, they could typically create this simple and filling dish.
  • Many of the lower-class and farmhouse kitchens had not oven access. This meant the bread would get cooking iron pots or on griddles over open hearths. This unique cooking method caused the signature dense texture, hard crust, and slight sourness many expect from Irish soda bread.
  • Soda bread has a different shape based on where in Ireland it was prepared. In Southern regions, it is shaped and baked as a round loaf. In the North, the bread is flattened into four equal triangles and then cooked on a flat griddle. The flat griddle method was adapted to accommodate a quick cook time for unexpected guests.

Vegan Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

For some, food allergies will make the above recipe less possible. In this recipe adapted from Rhian’s Recipes, you can enjoy a vegan gluten-free Irish soda bread that is sure to be filled with flavor without some of the allergens.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to Bake at 350°F.
  2. Pour milk and vinegar into a small bowl, stir, and leave for ten minutes while working on some of the steps below.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the chickpea flour, rice flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and raisins or dried fruit until mixed well.
  4. Add the milk and vinegar mixture as well as the water and mix well.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish lined with greased baking paper.
  6. Take a small knife and draw an X over the top of the batter.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes, until risen and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Leave to cool for ten minutes before slicing.

Notes about the vegan gluten-free soda bread

  • Best if eaten fresh or toasted if not eaten fresh.
  • Using a circular baking tin will give you the most authentic-looking bread.
  • Let the bread cool completely before storing it as the steam can make the bread soggy when stored.

What is Irish Soda Bread best used with?

Not all types of bread are created equally or for the same purpose. The texture of Irish soda bread and the flavor lend to a special usage. Irish soda bread is a denser bread which means it may not work as well for certain recipes. However, it is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition because of its historical tie-in and ease of use with a variety of foods and drinks. Here are a few ways people like to enjoy it:

  • With beer - Many will enjoy Irish soda bread with beer as it is a very absorbent bread that allows them to drink more without feeling the effects as quickly.
  • With soup - Due to its dense nature, Irish soda bread is perfect for dipping in a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter day.
  • With butter or cheese - Adding a bit of butter or a delicious bit of cheese to Irish soda bread can be the perfect complement for the flavor.
  • Corned Beef Sandwich - Irish soda bread pairs perfectly with corned beef to make a sandwich you won’t want to miss!