Irish Soda Bread

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The two things I have missed in my gluten-free and yeast-free world are grilled cheese sandwiches and toast. Not necessarily the healthiest things, but some of my favorite indulgences! Sunday dinners with my parents were often grilled cheese and tomato soup (Mmmm…comfort food), and a quick dessert favorite of mine has always been toast with butter and cinnamon. Add in the Earth Balance coconut spread—holy cow. This led me to my recent determination: to make my own bread that I could use for both of these tasty treats!

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The solution: IRISH SODA BREAD. Genius. The trick was to make it vegan and gluten-free. There are tons of recipes out there for exactly that, so I just needed to find one and tweak it to perfection. Thank you, Gluten Free Goddess, for her Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread Recipe. With only a few minor changes, I ended up with delicious bread that has already fit so many purposes!

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I have used it to make both of my weaknesses. And each treat was a huge success. The bread has enough flavor to be delicious on its own, but not enough to overpower a sandwich or toast. Perfect!

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IRISH SODA BREAD
Prep time: 10 minutes   Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup GF oat flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Oats ground into flour)
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch flour
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp xanthum gum OR 2 tsp chia seeds + 4 tsp water
  • 5 TBSP coconut oil* or vegan butter (I used Earth Balance butter since I had it on hand)
  • 3/4 cup plain non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp water
  • 1 TBSP agave nectar or maple syrup

*Note—if you use coconut oil, measure the 5 TBSP in a separate bowl and then place the bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes. It will make the coconut oil more solid, and therefore closer in consistency to butter. This helps keep the bread a bit fluffier. It is helpful to place your large mixing bowl and pastry cutter in the freezer before beginning the recipe, as well.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare an 8- or 9-inch round baking pan by greasing it with coconut oil or vegan butter. Sprinkle the pan with GF oat flour.

In a large mixing bowl, prepare your flaxseed eggs by combining the flaxseed and water in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. If using chia seeds instead of xanthum gum, add the chia seeds and the additional water to this same bowl. While these set up, prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the large mixing bowl and whisk together. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut in the butter or coconut oil.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Slowly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. The final consistency of the bread should be a sticky dough. Mine had a bit more liquid in the dough, which made for a denser, yet moister (literally was stumped when trying to replace that with a less-gross word), bread. If your dough appears too dry, add more almond milk, 1 TBSP at a time.

Transfer the dough to your prepared cake pan. Give the pan a few shimmies and shakes (technical terms) to make sure the dough is even. If this doesn’t work, wet your hands and flatten the dough out. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross through the top of the dough. Because my dough was less dry, the cross didn’t quite survive the baking process. I hope yours does, as it definitely adds to the aesthetic appeal of the bread!

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is a crispety-crunchety texture, and a toothpick comes out clean when stuck in the middle of the bread. Let the bread cool in the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

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