This gluten free Irish soda bread is an easy Irish staple perfect for breakfast or with meals especially during St. Patrick’s Day.
In reality I am 25% Irish. If you knew my maiden name though, you’d probably think I was 100% but no, Italian claims most of it.
Still we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day growing up like Americans do except without all the crazy drinking. Basically, we wore green, had corned beef and cabbage and bought Irish soda bread at the local grocery store in March when they had it.
I honestly LOVED Irish soda bread. It was sweet but not too sweet and was perfect toasted up with a little butter. The only thing I didn’t like was the caraway seeds in it. Totally threw me off.
But that’s ok! Because now as an adult, I can make my own and choose for it to be gluten free, a little more dense and cake-y AND have 0% caraway seeds.
What is Irish Soda Bread?
Soda bread is a variety of quick bread traditionally made in a variety of cuisines in which sodium bicarbonate is used as a leavening agent instead of the traditional yeast. The ingredients of traditional soda bread are flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Wikipedia
Although soda bread was popular in many countries, the Irish were able to make it more often with their resources and climate which made it more of a staple.
Does Irish Soda bread contain gluten?
Traditionally, yes! Irish soda bread is made with wheat flour which contains gluten. Luckily, this day and age we have wonderful options when it comes to gluten free flour blends that literally sub one for one with regular wheat flour and have little to no bearing on taste difference.
My favorite gluten free flour blend is THIS ONE by Krusteaz which I make the recipe below with. It can also be found at most Wal-Mart stores at $5 for 2lbs!
What if I can’t find buttermilk?
Most soda bread recipes require buttermilk in the recipe. For the life of me I could NOT find any buttermilk in the 3 stores I went to. Luckily I found an amazing and easy substitute for it that you can use to replace buttermilk in any recipe:
Buttermilk Substitute Recipe:
- 1 cup Milk (2% or greater
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
Stir in 1 tbsp lemon juice with 1 cup milk and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Milk should thicken and start to curdle. Once that happens, it’s ready for use!
Tips and Tricks:
Make sure you check whatever gluten free flour blend you are using and see if it has Xanthan gum. If it does not, you will need to purchase separate and add it to your dry mix. To make life easier, buy a blend that already has it mixed in!
Once the bread comes out of the oven, it will need to cool for at least 2-3 hours. I know, this is a long time to wait for deliciousness but it is necessary to let the bread set correctly. I put mine on a cooling rack and do something to distract myself.
Gluten free Irish soda bread freezes well! In fact, I made a loaf and we (quickly) ate half of it before putting the rest in the freezer to enjoy closer to the holiday. Wrap fully and put in a sealed bag for up to 3 months.
- 2 cups Gluten Free Flour Blend
- 1.5 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder (make sure its gluten free)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Raisins
- 1/4 cup White Sugar
- 4 tbsp Grass Fed Butter
- 1 Egg
- 1 cup Buttermilk or Buttermilk Substitute
- Preheat oven to 450.
- In a large bowl, add all of your dry ingredients including: gluten free flour blend, baking soda, baking powder, salt and raisins.
- In a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together butter, sugar and egg until it's fluffy and combined.
- Begin to add in 1/2 cup flour followed by buttermilk into wet mix in intervals until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Sprinkle some gluten free flour on a flat surface and place bread dough on top. Knead a few times until you are able to shape the flour into a round but flat disk that is 1 inch thick.
- With a sharp knife, score an X on top and place on greased cookie sheet in oven for 5 minutes at 450. Once 5 minutes is up, reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 25 minutes.
- Place on cooling rack and let cook for 2-3 hours before serving.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198