Irish Soda Bread is a no-yeast bread that requires almost no kneading as well. Ready in an hour, this bread is a perfect side for any meal.Jump to Recipe
Over a eyar ago now, when my book club was meeting in person instead of over Zoom (thanks COVID), I set out to make a vegan bread. We have one member who is allergic to dairy and another who doesn’t eat meat.
I had heard of Irish Soda Bread before, but never tried it. When I started looking up recipes, most weren’t dairy-free how they were written. I decided to try my hand at changing a few things to make it fit the dietary needs of everyone in the group.
Soda bread doesn’t use any yeast and you hardly have to knead the bread. In other words, it’s very simple! I like simple.
I replaced the milk with almond milk to have a dairy-free option. Truth time: I use almond milk in almost any recipe that calls for “milk” because that’s all we ever have at our house. Everything else in the recipe is already vegan-friendly which means it’s also dairy-free.
How Does the Bread Rise without Yeast?
Most bread products require yeast to give it that light, airy taste. Instead, this uses a combination of baking soda (hence soda bread) and vinegar. Remember those volcano science experiments? It works similar to that but without the explosion.
Step by Step
Prepare your soda bread ingredients. Measure out everything you need so you have it ready when you need it.
Mix the almond milk and vinegar in a small bowl and let it stand for 10-15 minutes. Almond milk mixed with vinegar is a dairy-free substitute for buttermilk.
Add the milk mixture and stir with a fork until just combined.
On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough for 30 seconds. Yes, 30 seconds of kneading is all that’s required for this bread! Shape the dough into an oval loaf and place on a cookie sheet or baking stone. Note: the bread will not fill out or expand as it bakes. Whatever shape it is now is exactly the shape it will be after baking.
Use a serrated knife to score the bread with a deep cross.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the bread is done and golden-brown. Serve warm. I like to add a bit of vegan butter on mine to soften it up slightly.
Leftover soda bread can be stored in a sealed container on the counter at room temperature. It should keep for at least 2-3 days.
Originally Published On: March 3, 2021
Irish Soda Bread
- 13 tbsp almond milk
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Mix the almond milk and vinegar in a small bowl and let it stand for 10-15 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt
- Add the milk mixture and stir with a fork until just combined
- On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough for 30 seconds
- Shape the dough into an oval loaf and place on a cookie sheet or baking stone
- Use a serrated knife to score the bread with a deep cross
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the bread is done and golden-brown
- Serve warm
Soda Bread FAQs
Instead of using yeast, as most breads do, this one uses baking soda and vinegar to help it rise.
Just like in science experiments, when you mix baking soda with vinegar, they cause an “explosion”. Well, this doesn’t explode (thankfully) but that combination adds air to the bread.
The shape is entirely up to you. I’ve seen it made perfectly round, oval, or long like a loaf of French bread. Just know that it doesn’t change shape as it bakes. So whatever shape you put it in the oven as, it will come out the same.
Soda bread definitely tastes a bit different than regular bread. Soda bread is more dense and therefor heavier than an Italian or French bread loaf. The vinegar and baking soda do give it a slightly bitter taste, so it’s best when it’s being dipped in a sauce or spread with butter.