Your New Go-To Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread
I must admit that I make Irish soda bread once a year and yes, it is for a St. Patrick’s Day party. And every year I asked myself, why? Why not more often? It is easy, hearty and works so well alongside soups, stews, for breakfast with a smear of jam (my favorite) or slathered with PB, cream cheese or butter. I have a particular penchant for it while it is still warm…with the jam melting into the tender slices…are you with me? This GF version is from Kristine Kidd’s new book, Gluten-Free Baking. For her take on a sweet dessert try her Lemon Curd Almond Cake and be sure to read our interview with her as well.
Excerpted and adapted with permission. Gluten-Free Baking by Kristine Kidd. Published by Weldon Owen. Photos by Annabelle Breakey.
Oats and seeds fill this hearty loaf, and you will not miss the wheat. It is great warm or at room temperature, spread with butter and preserves, or butter and smoked salmon. It also makes an ideal accompaniment to steaming bowls of chowder.
- ½ cup (1 ¾ oz/50 g) sorghum flour, plus more for dusting
- ¾ cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) plus 3 tablespoons whole milk, low-fat milk, or soy milk
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (2 ¾ oz/75 g) gluten-free oat flour
- ½ cup (2 ½ oz/75 g) potato starch
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) pieces
- 3 tablespoons gluten-free oat bran
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- ⅓ cup (1 ½ oz/45 g) shelled sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoons chia or poppy seeds (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease an 8-to 9-inch (20- to 23- cm) round cake pan and dust with sorghum flour.
- In a glass measuring cup, combine the milk and vinegar. Let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and whisk with a fork until blended.
- In a food processor, combine the oat flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, brown sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and process until blended. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine meal. Add the oat bran and flaxseed meal and pulse just until blended.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the sunflower seeds. Add the liquid ingredients and, using a rubber spatula, mix until a sticky batter forms.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Dip the spatula into room temperature water and use it to form a smooth round loaf. Flatten slightly. Using a sharp knife, score a ¼-inch (6-mm) cross on the top of the loaf that extends to the edges. Sprinkle the loaf with chia seeds.
- Bake until the loaf is slightly browned, sounds hollow when tapped, and bamboo skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto the rack and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store wrapped airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Author’s Notes: Sunflower seeds can occasionally turn green when baked. The greenish tinge is harmless, and makes this bread a good candidate to serve on St. Patrick’s Day. The seeds in my soda bread didn’t turn green until a day or two after baking. To avoid this, replace the sunflower seeds with pumpkin seeds, any nut you like, or raisins. If you don’t have both oat bran and flaxseed meal, it’s OK to use 5 tablespoons total of whichever is in your cupboard.