This vegan gluten-free Irish Soda Bread is as classic and traditional as this bread can get, only with a modern, healthy twist. The bread has a dense texture, a soft and tender crumb, and there's nothing quite as delicious as a warm, hot-off-the-oven slice slathered with vegan butter.
For St. Paddy's Day this year, I give you a vegan, gluten-free Irish Soda Bread. It is incredibly easy to make, so much so that even a kid could do it. And it tastes exactly like the real thing, with a very authentic crust and crumb.
I have had to go through a bit of an upheaval in my eating habits recently because I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. I had been feeling the symptoms for years, perhaps more than a decade, with the tiredness, fatigue, unexplained weight gain and much more. But hypothyroidism is rarely detected early or in time by most doctors, and my case was no different.
To make a long story short, I have been researching how I could change my diet to help alleviate the symptoms or even, if possible, reverse the problem. Because both soy and wheat are well known enemies of a sluggish thyroid, I have been trying to cook more foods that are gluten- and soy-free. Not exactly easy when you are vegan, but not impossible either.
I have always made -- and shared on this blog -- lots of gluten-free (and soy-free) recipes, including desserts. But you'll perhaps see more of them now in this space. Gluten and soy will not be out altogether, both from my kitchen or this blog, because Jay does enjoy eating breads (especially sourdough breads), vegan meat substitutes and tofu, as does Desi, and so do many of you.
With St. Patrick's Day approaching, I wanted to adapt my Irish Soda Bread recipe to a gluten-free version. I love soda bread -- who doesn't? With it's dense and soft, almost melt-in-the-mouth texture, this is a bread you can really make year-round, as you should. It takes barely half an hour to get the bread into the oven, and after 50 minutes of baking you have the most delicious loaf to serve and enjoy.
For this bread, I used King Arthur's Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour. It already has xanthan gum added, so you don't need to add any more. To help the bread bind and to get that perfect texture, I also use aquafaba and a couple of teaspoons of cornstarch. You can leave out the cornstarch if you don't want to add it, but your flour would end up shaggier and your bread may not have that authentic look. It'll still be delicious.
More Irish recipes to try:
- Vegan Irish "Lamb" Stew
- Vegan Cabbage, Leek and Potato Tart
- Vegan Irish Shepherd's Pie
- Vegan Mini Shepherd's Pies
- Vegan Irish Leek and Potato Soup
- More vegan bread recipes here.
Vegan Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread recipe:
Vegan Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread
- 3 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (I used King Arthur gf measure for measure flour)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoon vegan butter (melted)
- 3 tablespoon aquafaba (chickpea brine)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whisk together the nondairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Add the melted butter and aquafaba and mix well.
- In a large bowl, mix the gf flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch and salt.
- Pour in the milk-aquafaba mixture, mixing with a spatula, to form a shaggy dough. Make sure all the dry ingredients are mixed together. You can also do this in a stand mixer with the paddle blade attached.
- Let the dough stand 15 minutes. Spray an 8-inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray or coat with melted butter. You can also use a baking sheet for this.
- Flour your hands and lift the dough. Form it into a ball as best as you can. and place it into the skillet. Using a sharp knife, score a deep cross across the top.
- Brush on some melted butter over the top of the bread. Place the skillet or baking sheet and bake 45-50 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when you knock the bottom.
- Cool for at least half an hour, then slice and serve.
I am gluten free and dairy free, but not vegan. Would I use a whole egg or egg whites for the aquafaba?
Yes, use the whole egg.
Carol Roberts Gerson
HI Vasali, Well, my first effort was not a success. The dough looked shaggy, but would not hold together. I had to really compress it and it still wanted to crumble. The outside got crunchy, but the inside is pretty raw. Not sure where I went wrong. I did not have cornstarch so replaced it with tapioca flour. Help please!
GF flours tend to be very thirsty and also it matters how humid the air is where you are, so if the dough seems too crumbly add some water or milk until it holds together. You don't have to worry too much about overhandling the dough because there's no concern of gluten developing since this is gf.
I made this using the gluten free flour blend that my co-op sells in bulk. I also used ener-G vegan egg replacer instead of aquafaba, and sunflower oil instead of vegan butter. It turned out great! I’ll note that I ended up using about 4.5 cups of the flour. I find that there’s pretty wide variation in the composition of gluten free flours so I’d say that’s pretty normal. I just kept adding more until I got that shaggy quality to the dough that I remember from when I used to make soda bread with glutinous flour. I do think vegan butter would have added a richer flavor than oil, but it’s great to know that it works either way! Thanks for the recipe. I was craving bread and this did the trick!
This is delicious bread!!
The king Arthur's GF flour is expensive. Is there another flour with the same ingredients that will work just as good with a lower price tag??
Hi Mylin, you should be fine using another gf all purpose. If it doesn't have xanthan gum added, just add 1/2 tsp of it to the flour. Trader Joe's has a gf flour that's reasonably priced.
Thanks so much!!! I really love this bread..... it also had my husband drooling!
Vaishali, did you buy aquafaba, or just drain the liquid from canned chickpeas? Even my local Whole Foods doesn’t carry the pre-made. Do you think using Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer would work? I have that in the pantry!
I just drain the liquid from the chickpeas. You can just skip it-- use more nondairy milk for the liquid, or applesauce.
I am sorry to hear of your gluten intolerance... Is it absolute or can you tolerate a little bit of gluten?
I love to cook, tasting and blending spices is one of my favorite pastimes, but I have absolutely no inclination or talent for baking. I much prefer savory hearty curries, soups & stews with beans, lentils, vegetables & lots of spices... I noticed that recently you have been posting a lot of breads & cakes... and somehow it didn't seem balanced. Instinctively I crave recipes that consist of beans, lentils, vegetables, rice etc... Perhaps you could return to creating more recipes of that sort, especially with Indian & caribbean flavors.
I have been discovering a whole new set of vegetables & some of them may be good for a diet without gluten... I've discovered I love yucca (cassava root). I just fry it up & season with spices that I am craving... but I also have learned that cassava root can be pounded and used as a grain to make breads & pancakes.... I have also been substituting plantains for potatoes.... they are much more filling and satisfying. I made a stew with yuca, plantains, coriander, garlic, onions & a vegan source of protein, I used seitan, but I am sure you could use tofu... though you might have to add soy sauce for a fuller flavor.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I would not go with a highly processed gluten free wheat flour, but with some of the substitutes such as yucca &, plaintains or even corn meal... I adore polenta. It is one of the great comfort foods, as are dosas, which are another wonderful, gluten free food. I've also heard that it is possible to make pancakes from pounded yam (african yam), though this is not the yam that we call sweet potatoes.
This is just my suggestion: I would not go with highly processed, gluten free flours, but with flours that are naturally gluten free.
Best wishes for finding what is right for you.
Hi Ruth, I don't have a gluten intolerance, I just want to cut down on it because gluten can be harmful for those with hypothyroidism. And yes, most of the foods you find here on the blog are made with naturally gluten-free ingredients, but for baking an all purpose mix comes in handy.
Thanks for your post. Have you found any good websites for under active thyroid? Thanks!
Hi Vaishali, been a reader of your blog for years though never commented - try Matsyasana (Fish pose) in yoga for an underactive thyroid - I have managed my thyroid since the past 3 years now with regular practice of this pose alone.
We are oil free and I was wondering if I could use more of the aquafaba to replace the vegan butter in the dough?
Hi Josie, I would try an equal amount of applesauce. The bread could turn out a bit tough without the butter but I think the applesauce would counter that!
Vaishali, thank you, from someone that’s been GF and V for 16 years, gluten-intolerance diagnosis. I adore bread, and would make this as a treat! I’ll have revisit your recipes to see if you them for idlis and dosas too. Oh, and chapatis. Indian food is my favorite!
Hi Marty, I do have tons of dosa and a couple of idli recipes on the blog -- you can search them up with the keyword "dosa". Almost all the dosas are gf, and vegan of course. 🙂
Sorry to hear of the need for you to change your diet.
We are s Indian (Madras) and I have a child with a severe wheat and egg allergy and also other allergies like soy, diary, corn, buckwheat, all dyes, preservatives and additives.
I want to let you know that there are many many recipes out there that are available and make and as a result we all eat healthy.
By Gods grace idlis and dosas are are go to atleast 5 times a week.
Wish you all the best in your journey toward a healthier you.
Hi C! I've been cooking and baking vegan and gf foods quite frequently -- and blogging about them -- and I make idlis and dosas too very often, although dosas more than idli because we love them more! 🙂 Thanks for your kind thoughts.