Vegan Soda Bread is the ultimate St. Patrick's Day treat! But don't wait until March 17th to make it! Enjoy a slice or two with a pat of vegan butter and a touch of jam alongside your afternoon tea. This easy Irish soda bread recipe comes together in a matter of minutes with just 6 ingredients.
What is Soda Bread?
Traditional 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.
Vegan Soda Bread
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.
How To Clabber Nondairy Milk
Clabbering thickens and curdles milk, giving it a buttermilk-like consistency. To make clabbered milk, you just need to add vinegar or lemon juice to almond or soy milk and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. (I use apple cider vinegar in this recipe.)
Other types of nondairy milk don’t clabber – or curdle – the same way they almond and soy milk do when the acid is added to them. The clabbered milk will look like it's curdled or gone bad, which is what you want. It will mimic buttermilk in the recipe, which adds a lightness to the bread.
How to Make Vegan Soda Bread
This recipe only takes a few minutes of active time to prepare!
- First you clabber your milk.
- Next you mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Then you add the clabbered milk to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Finally, you pour the mixture into a 10-inch round baking dish and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
- You should allow your bread to cool completely before slicing it.
Some people like to cut a large X into their soda bread. If you'd like to, take your loaf out of the oven after about 15 minutes and use a sharp knife or kitchen sissors to cut an X into the dough. I've found that if you cut it too early, it won't show on the finished loaf.
I like to use a springform pan to bake my bread, because it's super easy to get the baked bread out of the pan. If you don't have one, you can use a cake pan, or pie pan. Soda bread is usually baked in a round dish, but you can even use a rectangle loaf pan, if you prefer.
- Don't over mix your batter or it could turn gummy and the resulting bread will be heavy.
- Use a wooden spoon or spatula when mixing your batter, because metal will react with the baking soda.
Soda Bread Variations
You can easily customize your soda bread with these simple additions:
- Add 1 cup of raisins or currants to the batter
- Add ¼ cup caraway seeds to the batter
- Sprinkle ¼ cup rolled oats to the top of the batter in the baking dish, before it's baked.
- Sprinkle ¼ cup seeds, such as flax or sunflower, to the top of the batter in the baking dish, before it's baked.
Enjoy a few slices with breakfast, or treat yourself to piece as an afternoon snack!
Vegan Soda Bread for St. Patrick's Day
- 2 cups almond or soy milk
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Adjust your oven rack so it’s in the middle position and preheat to 425°, and 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 until just combined. The mixture will be sticky.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking pan, and bake for approximately 35-45 minutes, until the bread has risen and is golden brown. You can use a sharp knife to cut a large X into the bread after about 15 minutes, if you like.
- 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 before slicing
Other. St. Patrick's Day Recipes You Might Enjoy Include:
- Vegan Colcannon
- Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Millet Mash Crust
- Stout, Seitan, and Cabbage Casserole
- Vegan Irish Stew
- Shamrock Shake
Other Quick Bread and Muffin Recipes You Might Enjoy Include:
- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
- Vegan Cheddar, Bacon, and Potato Muffins
- Carrot Cake Muffins
- Lemon Poppy Zucchini Muffins