How To Make This Recipe
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.
- Mix together all the ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.
Tip: This batter is much more liquid than a traditional soda bread, as gluten-free flours absorb a lot more moisture!
- Transfer the mixture into a baking dish lined with greased baking paper .
Tip: Take a small knife and draw a cross over the top of the batter, if desired.
- Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes, until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Make sure to leave the bread to cool down completely on a cooling rack before packing it away to store because otherwise the steam from the warm bread will get trapped and you’ll end up with soggy bread, which nobody wants!
Traditional Vs Modern Irish Soda Bread
Just to be clear, my version isnt the traditional Irish soda bread as I used gluten-free flour and added raisins. I made a few modifications for modern tastes and to make the bread gluten-free.
If youre a purist, the New York Times has published a recipe for Traditional Irish Soda Bread that contains only four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. This is probably closer to what the 19th century Irish used to make their loaves.
There is actually an organization whose goal is to preserve the tradition of soda bread called, not surprisingly, The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread.
Tips For Making The Best Gluten
- Do not over-mix the dough. It should be a shaggy dough. Overmixing can make for tough bread.
- If the dough is sticking to your hands, lightly wett your hands with water to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
- Dont skip the step of scoring the top of the dough with an X before baking. This helps the center bake all the way through.
- I bake my gluten-free Irish soda bread in a cast-iron skillet because it makes for the best crispy crust. You can also use a baking sheet or baking pan.
- To ensure the crust is crispy, do not open the oven door during baking.
- You can use an egg or milk wash on the bread before you bake it for a shiny and more golden crust.
- I like to brush the top of the bread with melted butter after it is done baking.
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Tip For Measuring Gluten
It is super important to use a measuring cup made for dry ingredients to measure gluten-free flour. I measure the gluten-free flour with the spoon & level method.
I use a large spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup. Then I use the back of a knife to level off the top of the measuring cup.
Please do not scoop the flour directly out of the bag with your measuring cup. If you do, you could end up with more flour than is called for in the recipe.
Why This Recipe Works
- Simple Ingredients: This recipe uses just a few recipes that easily accessible from the grocery store !
- Easy to Make: All you need to do is to mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients to form the dough, which you can then shape and then bake .
- Crusty Outside, Tender Inside: This recipe results in a beautiful, golden brown and impossibly crusty exterior, with a soft and tender inside that has a tight and dense crumb . Some say that Irish soda bread has a scone like texture and flavor, and I have to agree. It can feel like youre eating one extremely big scone.
- Flexible: Ive sweetened the bread slightly with just a bit of sugar in this case, but if you prefer to leave the sugar out for a non-sweet bread, that will totally work too!
- Totally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free: and Vegan The best part is that this Irish soda bread is 100% gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. This means that even those with Celiac disease or gluten or lactose intolerances, or those on a vegan diet can enjoy it without worries!
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Notes On Ingredients For This Gluten
- Flour: Ive tested this with three different gluten-free flour blends with great success. Maninis Multi-Purpose Flour Blend, gfJules all-purpose gluten-free flour or , and with Gluten Free Mamas all-purpose almond flour blend available from Amazon with success too!
- If the gluten-free flour blend you use already has xanthan gum or guar gum in it, then omit the xanthan gum called for in this recipe.
- Raisins or Currants: You can use raisins or currants. I opted to use Zante currants. They are made from tiny grapes and Ive found that while I dislike raisins, I do like Zante currants. Why? They are so small that they add just a bit of flavor without a weird mushy texture that you can get from raisins. They can sometimes be found in a box near the raisins and dried cranberries at your local store, though I admit I had to go to 2 stores before I could find them here locally! You can also order online I get them here at nuts.com now. Zante currants. Note that Zante currants are not actually currants, which is why I specified what they are called.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk in the U.S. is gluten-free. If you dont wish to buy buttermilk, you can make your own buttermilk at home.
While the dough with gfJules was a little stickier to work with, I honestly couldnt tell any taste or texture difference in the baked loaves. I can definitely recommend you use whichever flour blend you have access to or want to order.
Why is there a cross cut into Irish Soda Bread?
Homemade Bread Is The Best
Theres just something about homemade bread that makes me feel all fuzzy inside. Nothing beats pulling out a freshly-baked loaf of bread from the oven and slicing into it, and then taking a big bite of bread that youve baked with your own hands.
While I certainly love baking yeast breads from my soft, fluffy gluten-free bread, to soft gluten-free dinner rolls, to gluten-free pizza crust, and our recent favorite buckwheat bread, Ill admit that sometimes I dont always have the time or patience to wait for the dough to rise.
Sometimes, I just want to mix the dough together, and put it into the oven to bake. Which often means making a quick yeast-free bread that doesnt require any rising time.
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Gluten Free Irish Soda Recipe From House Of Nash Eats
Friends, my secret blogger is Amy who is the recipe developer, and all-around terrific lady over at House of Nash Eats.
Although I have never met Amy in person, I feel like I know her because just about every day I take a peek at what shes up to on her .
Plus, we are practically neighbors! Were both in Northern California going through the same droughts, wildfires, and a few earthquakes too!
Not only is Amy a fabulous and creative cook, but shes also a mama to two sweet girls, wife, a world traveler, and a former attorney. Shes one smart cookie with so many talents.
Amys website is filled with family friendly recipes with an amazing dessert selection. I know you will be bookmarking several of her recipes to try!
Does Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread Have To Have Raisins
This recipe calls for at least 1 1/2 cups raisins. I like Thompson raisins, but golden raisins like you see in the photos and video here are lovely, too.
You don’t have to make Irish soda bread with raisins, but you’d need a substitute here. The recipe is developed to include a mix-in.
We also have a recipe for savory gluten free Irish soda bread, which doesn’t even have a single raisin. The savory recipe is more like traditional bread, even though it’s also leavened without yeast.
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Ingredients Needed Wet And Dry:
You will need the following dry ingredients:
- Gluten free flour I used King Arthur Baking Companys measure for measure flour, which is a 1:1 substitute for wheat flour. My grocery store sells this brand.
- Granulated sugar Note I forgot to add in the recipe, so I topped each boule with a teaspoon of sugar on top of the bread.
- Baking soda, salt
- Currants or raisins I prefer the currants over the raisins. Theyre petite and add a nice sweet flavor.
- Caraway seeds Amy didnt add these in her recipe, but I had the spice and wanted to test it out. It adds a mild sweet licorice flavor Delish!
You will need the following wet ingredients:
Measure Ingredients By Weight
If you’ve taken my baking masterclass, you’ve seen me talk about measuring ingredients. Baking, and in particular gluten free baking, relies on accuracy for the absolute best results. In fact, even one teaspoon more or less of flour can completely change the texture of a bread. It’s vitally important to measure ingredients by weight. I guarantee you’ll have better results with breads and gluten free baked goods if you do!
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Easy Steps For Quick Bread
This gluten free Irish soda bread comes together quickly, and so delicious right out of the oven!
NOTE: I plumped the currants by placing them in some water for about 15 minutes, then drained them. This is an optional step.
Prepare dry and wet ingredients in separate mixing bowls
Form bread with hands
For the next step you will tenderly knead the bread a couple of times.
Form one large 12 round bread or two smaller boules.
Cut the top of the bread
Before baking you will cut the top of the loaf in the shape of a X or cross.
Why do you cut the bread?
This helps cook the bread evenly.
Also, the cut of the cross is a tradition that goes back centuries and either is meant to let out the fairies or ward off evil protecting the household.
A Little Sugar Goes A Long Way
Some Americanized recipes do call for a little sugar but if were already adding raisins, I figured why not go all in and make it a sweet bread, rather than a savory loaf with raisins? So I added another tablespoon of sugar to the recipe.
There are only 3 tablespoons of sugar total, but if you want to dial back on the sugar to 1 tablespoon, I think itd be fine. But I dont recommend totally omitting it if you want a good texture.
Unfortunately, I also cant recommend using honey or another liquid sweetener in its place. Youd be messing with the wet to dry proportions and thats way too risky, at least to me, when it comes to bread. Especially in a recipe that calls for 4 cups of flour!
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What Is Soda Bread Exactly
Typically soda bread is a round loaf of bread, often slightly sweet, that follows the steps of a quick bread. The traditional soda bread recipe is made using baking soda as the leavening or rising agent. So no yeast is needed . But it usually also includes some salt, buttermilk and in this case, gluten free flours and starches. It’s a simple bread with a mild and delicious flavor.
How To Store Gluten Free Bread
If you have leftover bread it is best to freeze it. To do this, slice the bread, wrap each slice in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag.
Gluten free bread tends to dry quickly, so I dont recommend keeping it in the refrigerator.
This is one of the reasons I made two small loaves. One we ate right away and the other I gave to a neighbor so they could enjoy right out of the oven too.
Hope you enjoy making this bread as much as I did! Let me know how you like the recipe will you?
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How To Make Gluten Free Dairy Free Irish Soda Bread
The butter and buttermilk in this recipe are both dairy. You can try replacing the cold, chopped butter with Melt brand or Miyokos Kitchen brand vegan butter.
Spectrum brand non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening would probably also work. Just be careful about chilling it too much, since it becomes very hard when very cold, unlike butter.
In place of buttermilk, if you can have dairy, use half plain dairy yogurt and half whole milk, by volume. If you can’t have dairy, use half plain nondairy yogurt and half unsweetened nondairy milk .
Pumpkin Bread Recipe Simple
My Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread is a paleo recipe thats a cinch to make and absolutely delicious.
Didnt think you could find pumpkin bread with almond flour? Guess again!
When you make this healthy pumpkin bread recipe, youll be blown away by the autumnal smell of magical spices and fresh healthy pumpkin bread wafting through your home.
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How To Make This Bread Gluten Free
When I test new recipes, I always start with the very basics and go from there. So if traditional soda bread contains only four ingredients, thats what I started with, substituting my gluten free bread flour blend for the all-purpose flour. Check.
Then came the baking soda. Gluten free baking always requires more help than non-gluten free baking when it comes to leavening. I bumped up the amount of baking soda just a teeny tiny bit. Check.
The third ingredient, salt, was a no brainer. I try not to mess with the salt amounts when converting gluten filled recipes into gluten free. So that stayed the same. Check.
Finally we get to my favorite ingredient in this bread, buttermilk. In my opinion, NOTHING holds a candle to true whole-fat buttermilk. There are, of course, ways of making buttermilk when you dont have any on hand . But if you can get whole-fat buttermilk , your recipe will thank you! Its so thick and rich and when you think about it, the fat in the buttermilk is the ONLY fat in this recipe. So you really need the good stuff.
Almost every time I convert recipes to gluten free, I increase the liquid. The reason for this is gluten free flours tend to soak up more liquid, thereby making the final product dry. So adding anywhere from a few tablespoons to 1/4 cup more liquid combats the dryness without altering the recipes integrity. Check.
Top Tips For Making Soda Bread
Gluten-Free Flour:I’ve made this Irish Soda Bread with success using Cup4Cup Multipurpose Blend and Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour. Both of these gluten-free flours are what I used to create my initial gluten-free breads eBook and I have had much success with them.
Remember that you need a blend of gluten-free flours to replicate all-purpose flour. Just using one gluten-free flour or grain, will not work.
I believe this recipe would also work well with other gluten-free flour blends or whichever is your favorite. See the recipe notes to adjust for the amount of liquid to make sure it comes out just right!
Measuring Gluten-Free Flour
Be sure to spoon your gluten-free flour into the measuring cup, and level off with the back of a knife for the most accurate results. Besides baking by weight, this will help you get the recipe right and prevent problems. Read this post for additional gluten-free baking tips!
Making it Dairy-Free:I have also made this recipe dairy-free, but the dough will not rise as much and be a bit more squat. You’ll need to use a dairy-free gluten-free flour blend , dairy-free butter, and homemade dairy-free buttermilk. I found the best results were to use Â½ cup of whatever dairy-free milk you prefer + Â½ cup of dairy-free plain yogurt. More information can be found in the recipe card below!
Add more buttermilk as needed
Here’s an idea of what the dough looks like when mixing and then after forming it into a ball and spreading buttermilk on top to bake
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How To Make Gluten Free Soda Bread
Since I have so many friends, family and readers that are gluten free when possible, I like to give the option to create a gluten free version of the recipe. My suggestions are below:
- Replace all of the flour with gluten free all purpose flour.
- Or try a combination of GF AP Flour and GF Oat Flour, maybe a 3:1 ratio.
Substitutions You Can Make
- You can use any type of plant-based milk.
- The rice flour and tapioca flour can be replaced with an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend.
- The vinegar can be replaced with lemon juice.
- The raisins can be omitted.
- The raisins can be replaced with dried cranberries or chopped dates.
- You can add some chopped walnuts.
- You can add some mixed seeds and/or sprinkle them on top.
- You can add some caraway seeds!
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