This easy vegan Irish soda bread is perfect to celebrate St. Patrick’s day or any meal any time of year. This recipe creates a crispy, savory bread, made with whole wheat flour, orange zest, and raisins. Slices served with vegan honey butter are a favorite!
Traditional Irish Soda Bread
You’re probably used to making homemade bread with yeast. Me too. But soda bread recipes are more like an artisanal loaf is made with baking soda instead. It creates a crispier quick bread, which is something we love. I think you will too.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Curdled milk is added to the dough to add amazing flavor dimension to this savory bread
- A combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour gives this loaf a rustic flavor and texture
- Orange zest brings out the flavor of the dried raisins added to the dough
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Soy milk — I prefer soy milk because of its high-protein content, which allows it to curdle with the vinegar and adds more flavor.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Flour — We’ll use a mixture of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour.
- Coconut sugar — You can substitute granulated sugar.
- Salt — Use either table salt or sea salt.
- Baking Soda — Make sure yours is fresh by testing a bit of it in vinegar. If it bubbles, your batch is good to go.
- Vegan butter
- Orange zest — This is an optional ingredient.
- Ground flaxseed
How to Make Irish Soda Bread
- Sour the milk by combine milk with apple cider vinegar.
- Combine flours, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a food processor and pulse.
- Add chopped butter and pulse until it resembles a coarse meal, Add the raisins, orange zest, flaxseed meal, and cornstarch and pulse again. Transfer this to a mixing bowl and create a well in the middle.
- Pour the soured milk into the center of the bowl and stir from the center outward, incorporating the flour as you go.
- Knead the dough in the bowl, only to incorporate additional flour until you have worked it all in and a dough ball forms.
- Place the dough ball on a prepared pan. Use a knife to cut an X into the top.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes. When you tap the top of the loaf, it should have a hollow sound. That lets you know it’s done.
- Allow the baked loaf to cool slightly before serving warm.
Traditional Vs. Modern Irish Soda Bread
I’ve seen conflicting information about making traditional Irish Soda Bread. However, at its very core, the ingredients usually include flour, baking soda, sour milk, and salt. That is the list from the Irish Soda Bread purists. In fact, they say, “anything else makes it a tea cake!”
That said, the modern Irish Soda Bread is made with a variety of add-ins, including orange zest and currants. Try as I may, I couldn’t find currants, a special variety of dried grapes. And I figured if I had trouble finding it, you might too. So that’s why I used a variety of mixed dried fruit, including raisins, golden raisins, and dried cranberries.
I also used some orange zest to really bring out the flavors of the dried fruit.
Is Irish Soda Bread Vegan?
Traditional Irish Soda bread is not vegan because it’s made with both milk and eggs. However, you’ll see in this recipe that it’s very easy to transform the traditional recipe to make it vegan.
Use these tips to make this vegan Irish Soda Bread recipe perfect every single time:
- Sprinkle the top with some flaky sea salt before baking
- Make vegan Irish soda bread muffins by dividing the batter into muffin pan compartments (either line the compartments with paper or brush them with oil first)
- Try different flours for different flavors and textures. I used whole wheat, but you can also use white wheat flour or buckwheat flour.
Serve your slices toasted with some vegan butter or even vegan cream cheese on top.
Vegan Irish Soda Bread
- Heat your oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a food processor bowl, combine whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Pulse a few seconds to combine.
- Chop the vegan butter into cubes and add to the flour. Pulse until it resembles a coarse meal, about 10 or so seconds. Add the raisins, orange zest, flaxseed meal, and cornstarch. Pulse to combine. Pour this into a mixing bowl and create a well in the middle.
- Pour the soy buttermilk mixture vegan milk into the center of the bowl and stir from the center outward, incorporating the flour as you go.
- Knead the dough in the bowl, only to incorporate additional flour until you have worked it all in and a dough ball forms. Don't knead too much.
- Place the dough ball on your prepared pan. Make sure some raisins are popping through the top. If not grab some from the bottom and push them into the sides and top, for a more rustic finished loaf. Use a knife to cut an X into the top.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes. When you tap the top of the loaf, it should have a hollow sound. That lets you know it's done.
- When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving warm.
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** I could not find currants so I used a combination of regular and yellow raisins.
*** If the top crust starts to get too dark, create a “tent” using aluminum foil to protect the top
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2017 and was updated to include new text and an updated recipe in 2021.
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