Vegan Irish Soda Bread

Vegan Irish Soda BreadIf you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you know I consider my mother-in-law, Wini Goldberg Costigan, to be my culinary mentor. As a young child, I found my love of cooking and baking  at my grandmother Ida’s side in her kitchen. How I loved helping her make those sugar cookies and my favorite, her flueden cake – but I was small, just 4 or 5 years old, and she belonged to the no-recipe generation. Wini, on the other hand, followed the recipes that she’d handwritten onto index cards. All of her baked goods were unbelievably good. Thanks to my daughter, Tracy, I have some of Wini’s recipe cards.

Irish Soda BreadI’ve already written about veganizing Wini’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake, a recipe I found on one of her cards. I loved the  Brown Bread Wini baked in a coffee can, as well as her Irish Soda Bread. With St. Patrick’s Day coming, I decided to make the Soda Bread. All I had to do was  replace an egg (I halved the recipe) make vegan buttermilk and replace the honey. Then I had to try to decipher the scant instructions. Original soda bread has four basic ingredients: flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt. This holiday bread is a kind of quick bread. Moving beyond the basic elements, you can choose the inclusions you prefer. Today’s Irish Soda Breads often contain additional ingredients like sugar, butter and eggs, which I don’t use, and Wini didn’t either. Raisin, currants, and caraway seeds are typically added to enhance this basic bread. A properly made Irish Soda Bread to me has a crisp crust and dense and chewy interior.

Vegan Irish Soda Bread in ProgressThere was no description of the dough on the recipe card for me to go by, but most recipes say the dough is soft and sticky. Mine was that, and would not shape into a ball to put into a baking sheet. The card said to put the dough into a bowl and bake. Instead of a bowl, I baked the bread in a cake pan, and I made the traditional X cut in the top towards the end of baking—it was too soft to slash earlier. I’d figured that I’d use less liquid the next time, and/or knead in more flour, but I really liked this result, so I’m sticking with it. I didn’t add the caraway seeds

For St. Patrick’s Day, I give you my vegan version of Wini’s Irish Soda Bread and a tidbit from an Irish Vegan Baking Boot Camp student, Mary. Did you know that an Irish tablespoon is the same quantity as an American tablespoon plus a teaspoon. Use U.S. measures here!

I’ve learned since writing the original recipe, thanks to  reader who made the bread, that 3Tbsp of aquafaba also works to replace the egg.

Vegan Irish Soda Bread

Vegan Irish Soda Bread

Vegan Irish Soda Bread

Fran Costigan
Servings 1 large loaf: 5 cups soft sticky batter

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups soy or almond milk (I used soy)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Egg replacer for 1 egg (I used Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer)
  • 3 1/2 cups to 3 3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar, optional
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup caraway seeds, optional
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, Grade A dark (this replaced Wini’s honey)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
  • Grease a 7x2” cake pan and set aside. Use 8inch if that's all you have
  • (Wini’s recipe said bake in bowl. I have no idea what bowl, so I used a cake pan.)
  • Make the buttermilk: Mix the soymilk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and allow the milk to sour for about 10 minutes. If you are using soymilk, it will become very thick.
  • Sift 3 1/2 cups of the flour, the baking powder, baking soda,and salt into a large bowl. Add the raisins, and caraway and sugar if using and stir to mix.
  • Combine the buttermilk, egg replacer, and maple syrup in a separate bowl and mix well. (Wini mixed the buttermilk, egg, baking soda but I added the soda to the dry ingredients.)
  • Pour the liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to mix until you have a soft dough. If it is very sticky, add 2 tablespoons of flour, mix, and decide if you need another 2 tablespoons. (Mine took 2 tablespoons. It will still be soft when it is right.)
  • Fill cake pan with the batter, mounding it a bit higher in the center if possible, and bake in the oven. At 35 minutes, remove the cake from the oven and using scissors, quickly cut a deep X in the center of the loaf.
  • Return the bread to the oven and bake another 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and skewer inserted deeply into the center in a few spots is clean.
  • Cool the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely. You should end up with a bread that is smooth and a bit dense.
  • Slice using a serrated knife and serve with some good vegan butter and /or jam or a good slab or a vegan cheddar. Or, eat it plain, or make toast and sandwiches.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Do you have a St. Patricks Day tradition? Soda bread or vegan corned beef and cabbage, perhaps? I’d love to know!

 

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Comments
    • Kristen, I can’t say for certain, since I didn’t use a flax egg, but I think it would work. Remember though, that some egg replacers contain extra leavening. The one I used from Bobs Red Mill, contains baking soda, so you may want to add another 1/8 – 1/4 tsp of soda to your recipe. Let us know how it works out for you. I’m so glad you are going to try the recipe. Know that I am very new to using egg replacer and it is very rare that I do.

        • Thanks for letting us know Kristen! Aquafaba is really quite the versatile miracle. I assume you used it straight, not whipped. Do you reduce your aquafaba? I do. I’d love to see a photo or more if you’ve got any.

  • I made this irish soda bread today. It came out very good, but I thought it was a bit sweet. In the ingredients it lists 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Isn’t this a lot of sweetness compared to original handwritten recipe. Also the instructions also list agave which is not on the ingredient list. Do you mix the baking powder with the flour mixture or the milk mixture? The instructions say to put it in both places.
    I must say I have never had a vegan interpretation of an Irish Soda Bread look so beautiful and taste so good. I baked it in a 7″ springform pan.

    • Hi and than you for pointing out a mistake in the recipe. I edited it.
      I was veganizing as well as putting my own spin on Wini’s bread. I used all maple syrup for the honey, although at first I was going to use maple/ agave. I moved the baking soda to the dry ingredients as written. Wini did it differently and I think my note about that was confusing. As to the sugar, it is optional and should have been noted. I did not use it but it is nice for sometimes. I am so happy, that you liked the bread.Good idea on the springform. At what point did you slash the loaf? If you have a photo, I’d love to see it, that is if you’d like to share on my Facebook page. I hope this answers your questions.

      • As per the above note about editing the recipe, it seems like the edits didn’t get saved and actually update the recipe listed? The recipe directions still list agave, and the recipe ingredients list both sugar and maple syrup, which would more than double the sweetener recommended in Winn’s recipe. Also, in step 5, baking powder is added in, in two separate places. Please advise as I am anxious to make some Vegan Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day! Thanks!

        • Hi Suzy,
          I’m so sorry for the problem. I was told the recipe was updated and the plug in is not allowing me to edit today. Grrrr.
          Here is the answer though. The sugar is optional. I didn’t use it but some people like a sweeter bread. Baking powder and soda are sifted in with the flour. No agave. I have copied the correct recipe here for you so you can make it while I figure out the glitch with the recipe card. Enjoy.
          2 cups soy or almond milk (I used soy)
          2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
          Egg replacer for 1 egg (I used [Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer|http://amzn.to/2neLWCR])
          3 1/2 cups to 3 3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
          2 tablespoons organic cane sugar, optional
          1 cup raisins
          1/4 cup caraway seeds, optional
          2 tablespoons maple syrup (this replaced Wini’s honey)
          4 teaspoon baking powder
          1/4 teaspoon baking soda
          1 teaspoons fine sea salt
          Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
          Grease a 7×2” cake pan and set aside.
          _(Wini’s recipe said bake in bowl. I have no idea what bowl, so I used a cake pan.)_
          Make the buttermilk: Mix the soymilk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and allow the milk to sour for about 10 minutes. If you are using soymilk, it will become very thick.
          Sift 3 1/2 cups of the flour, the baking powder, bakind soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the sugar if using.
          Combine the buttermilk, egg replacer, and maple syrup in separate bowl and mix well.
          _(Wini mixed the buttermilk, egg, baking soda but I added the soda to the dry ingredients.)_
          Pour the liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to mix to dough until you have a soft dough. If it is very sticky, add 2 tablespoons of flour, mix, and decide if you need another 2 tablespoons.
          _(Mine took 2 tablespoons. It will still be soft when it is right.)_
          Fill cake pan with the batter, mounding it a bit higher in the center if possible, and bake in the oven. At 35 minutes, remove the cake from the oven and using scissors, quickly cut a deep X in the center of the loaf.
          Return the bread to the oven and bake another 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and skewer inserted deeply into the center in a few spots is clean.
          Cool the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely.
          You should end up with a bread that is smooth and a bit dense.
          Slice using a serrated knife and serve with some good vegan butter and /or jam or a good slab or a vegan cheddar. Or, eat it plain, or make toast and sandwiches

    • Sarah, I am so glad to know!! I am going to use the caraway seeds next time! I’m eating it as a sandwich bread. So easy and good, fast and quite a bit less expensive than buying god bread.

  • Hi Fran, I just put your Vegan Irish Soda Bread in the oven. Then I noticed 1 cup of raisins sitting on the counter. I don’t bake often so I did pay close attention to your instructions. You may want to edit this recipe to include the raisins and caraway seeds in the instructions for another non-baker like me. ( I omitted the caraway seeds. )
    Thanks for sharing Wini’s recipe. My husband thanks you too !

    • Oh, Michelle, I am so sorry for the omission. You are the only reader in all this time who caught it. The recipe has been updated. I hope you and your husband enjoy the loaf! Thanks for writing to let me know.

      • 5 stars
        Hi Fran, The bread turned out beautifully. We didn’t miss the raisins at all. This is my first try at Irish Soda Bread and I’m thrilled. Wini’s recipe is a keeper . Thanks again !

        • Thank you so much Michelle, for letting me know the bread turned out well. I am thrilled. Thank you again for letting me know about the raisins.
          Now, I want to make another one!
          Take care, keep baking.
          Warmest wishes,
          Fran

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