Gluten Free Vegan Irish Soda Bread
When I was in the 8th grade, my elementary school was lucky enough to be invited to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, Ireland. Living on Long Island and close to New York City our school marched in the big parade up 5th Avenue every year. The parade is a New York City tradition since 1762! A huge group of us children from St. Raymond’s Elementary School and their parents and chaperones boarded a plane at JFK Airport and headed off to land in Shannon, County Clare, Ireland.
I will begin by saying this-Ireland is the most exquisitely beautiful country, with the kindest, most welcoming fun people. Even at 13 I was able to appreciate the bright green countryside and gorgeous castles we went to visit (and I kissed the Blarney Stone!), and I would love to go again as an adult. But, let me tell you, for this kid and her mother the food was quite eye opening. It was very different than we were used to eating and I learned very quickly about appreciating other culture’s culinary traditions.
One day we were invited to the home of one of our trip coordinator’s close friend. It was there for the first time I tried Irish soda bread and scones. **FAINT**. For a kid who couldn’t eat wheat and dairy I will say with total conviction it was worth the painful GI effects of those warm breads with clotted cream. OMG. Served with fresh homemade jams on beautiful china, I felt so adult and special having tea and scones in a far-off place. A lifelong love of soda bread was born on that day in March 1990 (yes, I’m that old!).
I adapted this recipe as a mash up from the recipe we received from our wonderful Irish hostess and one from a chef I taught with for many years that was his family’s recipe. It’s a great breakfast grab-and-go freezer option and of course, to have with corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. We can all be Irish for a day! Enjoy!💙
**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Flour – This is purely up to you which flour you decide to use. As always, I use gluten free flour, but you can use wheat flour, just stick to the 140 grams per cup. Gluten free flours have all different densities and weights. This is a heavier dough and you don’t want to make it like a rock! Remember to use a gluten free flour blend that has xanthan gum, or ¼ tsp. per cup of flour.
- Vegan butter – The choice again is yours as to whether you use vegan or regular butter. Shortening, oil or coconut oil is not recommended here. This is similar to a biscuit or scone; the fat needs to stay a bit solid to keep the flaky texture. Just whatever you use, keep it COLD!
- Egg or Egg Replacer – This can be used with either an egg or yogurt or applesauce as a replacement, whatever you like to use or what is safe for your needs. For every egg use ¼ cup applesauce or yogurt.
- Buttermilk – With this hint, you’ll never need to buy buttermilk again! For every 1 cup of milk, safe or regular, add 1 tablespoon of acid (ex. apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, white vinegar) and mix together and let sit for about 5 minutes. It will do something called “clabber”. That is when it looks broken and almost spoiled. The acid helps react with the baking powder and soda for leavening.
- Raisins – Raisins are traditional to add in, but I’ve also used craisins and they’re just as tasty.
Gluten Free Vegan Irish Soda Bread
Author: Katie Martino Lopez
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes for scones, 1 hour for one 6-inch round loaf
Total Time: 45 minutes for scones, one hour for loaf
Yield: 9 large scones or one 6-inch round loaf
- 2 c. gluten free flour with xanthan gum or regular flour
- 1 Tbls. baking powder
- scant ¾ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 Tbls. sugar
- 4 Tbls. COLD cut up butter, vegan or regular
- ¾ c. buttermilk (add 1 Tbls. apple cide vinegar or lemon juice to the milk, stir, and let sit 5 minutes)
- 1 egg OR ¼. c. applesauce or yogurt for vegan
- 2 Tbls. safe milk, regular milk, or beaten egg for pre-bake wash
- 1/2-3/4 c. raisins (less or more to taste)
- Sugar for sprinkling tops
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- If making buttermilk, combine acid and milk and set aside.
- Add dry ingredients and whisk well to combine in a large bowl and set aside.
- Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, lightly blend in the vegan or regular butter into the dry mixture until the fat is the size of small peas. Add in raisins and toss to coat in the flour mixture.
- Whisk egg or yogurt/applesauce into the buttermilk and add to the dry mixture.
- Combine until the wet has been incorporated, kneading lightly if necessary.
- For scones: Scoop 9 mounds onto a parchment lined pan, approximately rounded ¼ c. each. Flatten slightly and push in any raisins that are sticking out so they do not burn. Brush with 2 Tbls. milk or beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
- For a loaf: Shape into a round loaf on a parchment lined sheet pan. Push in any raisins that are sticking out so they do not burn. Cut an X shape in the top of the loaf. Brush with 2 Tbls. milk or beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake loaf for approximately 1 hour and scones approximately 25-30 minutes.
- Cool completely before cutting and enjoying. The Irish soda bread, loaf or scone, is best warmed in the oven or a few seconds in the microwave when reheating.
- Because these are gluten free (if you choose that), they can be a bit denser. Warming them helps the texture lighten up.
- These freeze great! That’s why I love the scone form. Wrap well and thaw overnight or pop in the micro/oven.
- Pro Tip!! If your raisins are very dry, just soak in some hot water for a few minutes. They’ll plump right back up. Just dry them off very well before adding to the dry mixture.
As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…
Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.
And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!