Soda bread is a quick bread that’s made with sodium bicarbonate (a.k.a. baking soda) rather than the traditional leavener of yeast. People often associate soda bread with Ireland, but many countries have their own traditional soda bread recipes, including England, Scotland, Australia, Poland, and even Serbia. Native Americans had their own version of soda bread, which used potash (potassium carbonate) as a leavening agent.
The ingredients of traditional soda bread are flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The buttermilk contains lactic acid, which reacts with the baking soda in the dough to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. Some soda bread recipes call for eggs, which aren’t really needed at all. Others include raisins, nuts, or caraway seeds, which is a matter of personal preference.
Since soda bread is usually associated with Ireland, it has become a St. Patrick’s Day favorite here in the United States. Veganizing it has been on my list of things to do for years now, but never really had much confidence in my baking skills. I recently finished Fran Costigan’s Essential Vegan Desserts course with Rouxbe, and I’m feeling up to the task this year. After doing research and looking at some traditional recipes, I realized that it wasn’t a difficult recipe to tackle after all. I simply swapped the traditional buttermilk for clabbered soy milk. I used a mixture of half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat pastry flour, as this is a mixture Fran uses a lot in her Rouxbe recipes, and I’ve found that it works really well in quick breads.
This recipe only takes a few minutes of active time to prepare. Just mix and bake, and you’ll be ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Vegan Soda Bread! Enjoy a few slices with breakfast, or treat yourself to piece as an afternoon snack.
- 2 cups almond or soy milk
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Adjust your oven rack so it’s in the middle position and preheat to 425°.
- Lightly oil a 9 or 10-inch baking pan.
- Clabber the soy milk by combining it with the apple cider vinegar in a small bowl. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Combine the flours, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Add the clabbered soy milk to the dry ingredients, and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined. The mixture will be sticky.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes, until the bread has risen and is golden brown.
- Place the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the bread from the pan, and place on the cooling rack and allow to completely cool.
- Serve with vegan butter and jam.