Soda bread is definitely the tastiest Irish bread when it’s REAL Irish soda bread. And by that, I mean not sweet and no raisins, please! This crusty thick vegan soda bread definitely hits the spot when I’m hankering for home. All the traditional soda bread taste, but veganized!
When I was 11, my mother decided to up sticks and move from Dublin to Louth. In Louth, we stayed at her boyfriend’s house a few miles outside Drogheda town, while a new family home was being constructed in Meath.
Until that point, I had rarely eaten soda bread, but in the countryside many people had wicker woven bread baskets fixed to their houses. The bread man would then drop off a large fresh round of soda bread in these baskets in the morning and I would gorge myself on it.
Fast forward to today and I am living in Madrid, Spain. Lots of great quality food here, but no soda bread. Luckily for you, and my son who is allergic to dairy, I have worked hard to reproduce all that crusty traditional soda bread goodness.
This bread comes together in minutes, is vegan, and no kneading or yeast required. you too could have your own loaf of freshly baked soda bread with just 35 minutes of baking.
Soda bread tips and what to have it with
This bread is NOT sandwich bread material as it is quite filling. Instead, try this.
- Soda bread should be separated into quarters and sliced as thinly as possible (hint – it won’t be very thin!).
- Soda bread is easier to slice when it has fully cooled, and easiest of all the next day.
- This vegan soda bread is perfect for slathering plant-based spread on and dipping in soup, such as my roast pear pepper tomato soup.
- It is also great for open-top sandwiches or slathered with hummus.
- I use oat bran in this recipe but you can also swap it out for the same quantity of regular oats.
- The olive oil is optional, but I find it makes for a softer bread, especially if you are planning to eat it over a few days and not the same day of baking.
- This soda bread once cooled down, should be separated into quarters and wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and can be stored in the fridge for up to five days.
- If after a few days you still have some soda bread left, which I doubt, and it is a little hard, it will toast perfectly. Just toast it on the grill, not in the toaster, or you will be fishing out broken soda bread pieces for days.
How to make easy vegan traditional soda bread
Preheat the oven and mix the plant-based milk with the lemon juice or vinegar in a bowl. I like to use soy milk as I feel it makes the bread a bit softer, but you do you!
Combine the flours, salt, oat bran and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Next, if you are using the olive oil, rub it into the dry ingredients with your hands until they look like breadcrumbs.
Note that you can also sub coconut oil for the olive oil and it will give a rich buttery taste.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the milk, which should have curdled by now. Use a knife to mix the dry into the wet ingredients and mix as little as possible, just until everything comes together.
A knife you say…yes. Because although this is an easy recipe, the dough is an ugly sticky dough and will coat any wooden spoons you introduce into the mix.
Mix enough so that all the dry and wet bits come together and then turn it out onto a baking tray which has been lined with baking paper. Overmixing will toughen the bread and kneading will definitely kill it.
Using your hands, form the dough together into a rough ball and flatten it into a domed semicircle. Cut a deep cross with a damp knife. Supposedly, this is to let the fairies out, but in reality, it helps the bread rise and gives more of a crusty surface.
Put the soda bread in the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove and tap on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it is done. Cover with a damp tea towel while cooling to keep the crust from getting too tough.
Once it has cooled completely, slice away and enjoy.
Do let me know if you enjoyed my soda bread recipe and what you did with it, or whether you made any changes to the recipe. Did you slather it in margarine or and dip it in steaming soup, like Indian tomato soup?
Did you load it up with hummus, tomatoes, and onions? Or spread some guacamole on it? I’m getting hungry just thinking about it…Take a picture and tag me on Instagram @the_fiery_vegetarian, or leave a starred review in the recipe box and a comment to let me know how you got on.
- 1.5 cups/350 ml Sugar-free plant-based milk
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice/Vinegar
- 2.5 cups/300 g Wholemeal or brown flour
- 1 and 2/3 cups/200 g Plain white all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup plus two tablespoons or 100 g Oat bran
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil (60ml, optional)
- First, preheat the oven to 220C/430F or 200C/400F for fan assisted ovens.
- While the oven is heating up, combine the plant-based milk with the lemon juice or vinegar and let stand for at least five minutes in a warm place (I usually place it on the counter just above the oven or next to the hob if I've been cooking).
- Combine the flours, salt, oat bran and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle in the olive oil and rub into the dry ingredients with your hands until they resemble crumbs.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add in the milk, which should have curdled by now. Use a knife to mix the dry into the wet ingredients and mix as little as possible, just until everything comes together.
- Then turn out the dough onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and form a rough ball, slightly flatten, and then cut a deep cross into it with a sharp and wet knife.
- Put the soda bread in the oven and set a timer for 35 minutes. At 35 minutes remove it to cool on a wire rack while covered with a damp kitchen towel (to keep the crust from hardening too much).
- Wait until it's entirely cool before cutting as otherwise, the slices will crumble too much. It can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and freezes well, just separate it into quarters before freezing.
If you don't wish to use soy milk you can use any other plant-based milk or even regular cows milk if you're not a vegan, but I find that the bread is softer when I use soy milk.
If desired you can use substitute wholemeal or brown flour for the white flour amount, but the bread will be slightly more difficult to cut and result in thicker slices.
This bread is much easier to slice the day after baking but may dry out slightly in the fridge, toasting it will bring it back to life.