This classic quick bread is a must for St. Patrick’s Day, or any day when you need a little comfort baking that is also quick.
With dairy-challenged folks in my family, a quick bread that has been adapted to use plant-based products is a welcome site, especially if it is pretty to look at!
I’ve adapted a King Arthur Flour recipe for traditional Irish soda bread, making a few swaps and additions along the way.
Use your favorite whole grain flour
Here, I’ve used white whole-wheat flour and bread flour but you can use regular whole wheat flour in its place. In order to make “buttermilk” I simply added vinegar to acidify the soy milk; in just moments, it thickens to the right consistency. A vegan butter rounded out the substitutions.
I use white whole wheat flour or the King Arthur Irish style whole grain flour which has more texture. You can also substitute regular whole wheat flour, but always look for the organic varieties.
A little dried fruit, or leave it out
I prefer currants in a soda bread, but you can substitute raisins. You can also use dried cranberries or tart dried cherries as well, not traditional, but delicious, or leave out the dried fruit entirely.
Although far from traditional, I’ve added a bit of cinnamon to the dough because I think it goes well with the dried fruits. I used a light hand, this is not about the cinnamon, but it does enhance the flavor.
The dairy free version pretty much tastes the same as the standard! I doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference even in a side-by-side test.
Irish Soda bread, Dairy Free
- 1 2/3 cup soy milk
- 1 tsp. white vinegar
- 1 large free-range egg or egg replacer
- 275 g, about 2 ½ cups, whole wheat flour of choice
- 150 g. or about 1 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
- 3 tbsp. organic sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 2/3 cup currants or raisins
- 4 tbsp. vegan butter cut into ¼-inch pieces
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil an 8-inch round baking pan.
Measure the soymilk and add the vinegar. Set aside for ten minutes for it to thicken. Add the egg, and mix it up well.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.
Add the butter, and blend in with a pastry blender or your fingers, until the butter is large crumbs.
Add the liquid to the dry, mix in with a wooden spoon, and change to your floured hands. Pour onto a floured board and knead gently just until the dough forms a ball.
Place in the baking pan, and with a serrated knife, make a half-inch deep, criss-cross pattern on top. Sprinkle with a little flour if you like to add a decorative element as it rises in the oven.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the bread is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool a few minutes before cutting, but it is delicious warm!
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