No yeast? No problem. With this simple recipe for vegan soda bread you can have a delicious loaf of fresh bread on the table in under an hour.
Looking for an easy, quick vegan bread recipe? Soda bread is the answer. It takes minutes to mix, 40 minutes to bake and is delicious served with soup or with a little dairy free butter or cream cheese.
What is soda bread?
Soda bread, often called Irish soda bread, is a simple yeast-free bread that is traditionally made from flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk.
Buttermilk is simply milk that has fermented. Vegans can achieve a similar result by adding a little lemon juice (or cider vinegar or white wine vinegar) to our dairy free milk.
The flour is mixed with salt and bicarbonate of soda. Once the buttermilk - or the milk mixed with lemon juice - is added to the mixture it starts to react. In the oven as the bread bakes this reaction continues to allow the bread to rise.
There’s no kneading, no waiting for it to rise and no need to find yeast.
Soda bread is utterly gorgeous when eaten warm from the oven. It doesn’t keep for long so try to eat it on the day you’ve baked it, or slice it for toast the next day.
What kind of milk is best for vegan soda bread?
It’s best to use a neutral flavoured plant-based milk to make your soda bread. If you used a stronger tasting milk, such as almond or coconut, you’d be able to taste it in your bread. And while it might still taste good it might not go with what you’re eating the bread with.
So bear that in mind when choosing which milk to use. I’ve tested this recipe with soya milk and oat milk with great results from both.
How difficult is soda bread to make?
It’s so easy. The wonderful thing about soda bread is that it really is as easy as one, two, three.
One - mix everything together.
Two - shape and place on a baking tray.
Three - bake.
Traditional bread made with yeast needs to be kneaded, you need to leave time for it to rise and then extra time for the proving (second rise). You can avoid all of that by making soda bread.
But how does soda bread rise then?
Even though you’re not using yeast, soda bread will still rise. And the reason for that is the bicarbonate of soda, also known as baking soda. This reacts with the lemon juice in the oven and creates a lovely rise while the bread is baking - without the need to leave it to rise before baking.
What should you serve with soda bread?
Well the options are pretty much limitless! You can serve vegan soda bread in any way you’d serve bread normally.
However, it is particularly good with some vegan butter or cream cheese spread on top. And I like it best with soup. Remember that soda bread is best eaten straight from the oven, while it’s still warm.
Here are some soup recipes you might like to serve alongside your soda bread.
- Leek and parsnip soup
- Curried parsnip soup
- Butternut squash and sweet potato soup
- Tomato and basil soup
- Jerusalem artichoke and celeriac soup
- Vegetable, spinach and borlotti bean soup
- Curried Brussels sprout soup
- Root vegetable soup
- Spiced carrot soup
What ingredients do you need to make vegan soda bread?
Here are the ingredients you need to make vegan soda bread:
- 280ml neutral tasting dairy free milk eg oat or soya milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice - or sub apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 165g plain white flour
- 165g spelt flour (or use all plain white flour)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp oats, for topping optional
Full recipe and ingredients list at end of post
Do you need any special equipment to make soda bread?
All you need to make soda bread is:
- a mixing bowl
- baking paper
- baking tray.
- A sieve is also useful but not essential. If you don’t have a sieve be sure to mix the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda well together.
If you like this you might also like my vegan naan bread recipe.
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How to make vegan soda bread
If you have made this recipe and loved it please consider leaving a comment and rating below.
Vegan soda bread
- 280 ml neutral tasting dairy free milk eg oat milk or soya milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice*
- 165 g plain white flour
- 165 g spelt flour* or use all plain white flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda*
- 1 tbsp oats for topping optional
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
- Place 280ml dairy free milk into a jug and add 1 tbsp lemon juice. Stir and set aside.
- Sift 165g plain white flour and 165g spelt flour together with 1/2 tsp fine salt and 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
- Pour the milk mixture into the flour and stir well until you have a rough dough.
- Use your hands to form into a round and transfer to the baking tray.
- Cut a deep cross into the dough with a sharp knife. Sprinkle some oats on the top (optional).
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes. You can test whether it’s done by inserting a sharp knife in the centre - if it comes out clean it’s done.
- Soda bread is best served fresh - ideally straight from the oven. It can be served as toast the next day.
- You can substitute 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or 1 tbsp white wine vinegar instead of the lemon juice.
- It's also possible to make this soda bread with 330g plain white flour instead of using the spelt flour.
- Use bicarbonate of soda or baking soda - don't be tempted to use baking powder instead or you won't get good results.
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