Vegan Irish Soda Bread
My mom (hi Mom!) used to make Irish Soda Bread every Saint Patrick’s Day. That and Reuben sandwiches. I’ve yet to create a vegetarian Reuben (and I’m not sure I could duplicate that one successfully if I tried), but Vegan Irish Soda Bread? Completely, utterly doable, as it turns out! Talk about luck. (Get it? Luck? Saint Patrick’s Day? Moving on …)
This Irish Soda Bread tastes just like the real thing – or at least just like my previous go-to recipe. My go-to was this Irish Soda Bread recipe, based off of Ina Garten’s recipe, which is prettttty dang perfect.
But now that I’m a dairy-avoider, I wanted to come up with a dairy-free version. So I swapped in vegan buttermilk and vegan butter and decided to see what would happen if I left out the egg while I was at it.
And guess what? It’s still totally delicious! Which I guess makes sense because the most traditional Irish Soda Bread is actually made of a very simple list of ingredients – baking soda, flour, buttermilk, and salt.
I’m pretty fond of this version, though, with its added sugar and a nice bit of (vegan) butter. Plus, a nice handful of currants for a bit of sweetness studded here and there.
Look at that loaf. All golden brown, tender, flaky … just waiting for a big ‘ol smear of butter. And maybe marmalade, if you’re so inclined.
This Vegan Irish Soda Bread comes together in minutes. It’s so easy!
First, you create your vegan “buttermilk.” Add one cup of non-dairy milk to a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, then stir in some vinegar. Set that aside to do its thing. Meanwhile, toss the currants in a bit of flour. Doing this helps to keep the currants evenly distributed throughout your loaf.
Next, you stir together your dry ingredients. Then cut in your vegan butter. I like to use a pastry blender, then my hands to really get the butter distributed, because what the heck. Next, you’ll stir in the buttermilk situation, then turn your wet dough out on your floured surface. Then incorporate the additional flour – just enough so the dough’s no longer sticky – and knead 4-5 times for good measure.
Round your loaf, place on your baking sheet, and cut the signature “X” in the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.
Plop it in the oven, brew up a pot of coffee, and worry not – your Irish Soda Bread will be baked up piping hot, golden brown, and truly delicious before you know it.
Vegan Irish Soda Bread
Just because you’re vegan or dairy-free doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little bread-o-the-Irish! Whip up this vegan Irish soda bread and never go soda-bread-less on St. Paddy’s Day again.
- 1 cup unsweetened plain oat milk or other non-dairy milk + 1 tablespoons white vinegar*
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus another 1/2 cup or so for the light kneading and another 1 teaspoon for the currants
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) vegan butter (I use Earth Balance), cut into squares
- Get ready. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a medium baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Make sure you have a surface – clean countertop or pastry board – to use when it’s time.
- Make buttermilk. Add the milk to a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar. Set aside for at least 5 minutes.
- Prep currants. In a small bowl, toss the currants with the 1 teaspoon flour. Set aside.
- Stir together dry ingredients. Add flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. Mix together until combined.
- Cut in the butter. Using a pastry blender or two butter knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly. I like to use my hands to really get I there and incorporate the butter.
- Add wet ingredients. Add the buttermilk and currants and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until combined. The dough will be wet and sticky.
- Finish prepping the dough. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour on your surface and turn the dough out onto the surface. Sprinkle a little more flour on top of the dough. Fold the dough onto itself, adding more flour as needed, just until the dough is no longer super sticky (a little sticky is okay). Knead about 5 times then fold the corners underneath to form a ball. Set the dough on your baking sheet and, using a sharp knife, cut a large “X” into the top.
- Bake. Place in your pre-heated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Cool. Remove from oven and place the loaf on a rack to cool.
- Eat. Slice, slather with vegan butter, and enjoy! Makes excellent toast, too. Keeps at room temp for a good 3-4 days (keep wrapped with plastic wrap or beeswax cloth).
* I’ve only made this with oat milk, as that was the only non-dairy milk I had in my fridge as I was testing this recipe! But I’m certain that almond milk or soy milk would work just fine too.