Gluten-Free Girl’s Irish Soda Bread

by in Gluten-Free, March 14, 2011

gluten-free irish soda bread

Shauna James Ahern, better known as Gluten-Free Girl, is sharing her favorite gluten-free recipes with us! This week, an Irish classic: Soda bread.

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up. Everyone will be Irish for the day, dressed in green and hoping to not get pinched.

Most people think of corned beef and cabbage when they think of St. Patrick’s Day foods. It’s nice, no question. However, when I was in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, 10 years ago, I was shocked to find that no one ate corned beef and cabbage on that celebration day. No one.

Brown soda bread? That’s eaten all through the year and on St. Patrick’s Day, too.

Soda bread takes only a few moments to make. It requires no yeast, so no worrying that your yeast is old or your kitchen too hot. You simply throw some flours in a bowl, add rolled oats, baking soda and salt and stir in some buttermilk. Slide it into a hot oven and you have bread in under an hour. Crusty, warm bread.

And gluten-free? The crust is just as crackly, the crumb just as soft, the slices just as firm, and the bread just as delicious as the gluten version.

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread
Adapted from Colman Andrews’ The Country Cooking of Ireland

Butter for greasing
Sweet rice flour for flouring

150 grams (2/3 cup) almond flour
150 grams (3/4 cup) sorghum flour
100 grams (1/2 cup) sweet rice flour
50 grams (1/3 cup) teff flour
50 grams (1/4 cup) potato flour
10 grams (2 tablespoons) flax seed meal
80 grams rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup currants
2 to 4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg plus 1 tablespoon water, mixed

Preheat the oven to 375.

Grease a baking sheet with butter, then dust it with sweet rice flour.

Mix together the almond flour, sorghum flour, sweet rice flour, teff flour and potato flour. Whisk them together to aerate and incorporate them. Mix in the flaxseed, oats, baking soda and salt. Toss in the currants and mix them into the flours.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk. Add buttermilk, mixing, until the dough is moist and soft but not wet, with no visible flour left. You will probably use about 3 cups, but feel free to use less or more, depending on your kitchen.

Turn the dough out onto the baking sheet. With lightly floured hands, shape the dough into a round about 3 inches thick. Cut a deep cross into the top of the loaf with a wet, serrated knife. Brush on the egg wash evenly.

Bake until the crust is dark brown and you hear a hollow thump on the bottom when you tap it, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Shauna James Ahern blogs about living the (gluten-free) sweet life at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. Her new cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, is available in bookstores now.

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Comments (1,682)

  1. California says:

    I assume the oats should be included with the flours?

    • ElizabethGray says:

      Hi California,
      The oats actually go in along with the flaxseed, baking soda and salt right after the flours — We've updated the recipe. Thanks!

  2. Angie Halten says:

    Love the idea of using 5 different gluten free flours to make this recipe.

  3. Joanne C. says:

    I am trying this on my new scale!!!!!!! Looks really good :-)

  4. Christi says:

    This looks yummy. I'd love to whip it up to go with the corned beef/cabbage affair someone is cooking this wekeend. I don't have each specific flour on hand. However, I do have the GF Girl whole grain flour mixture, could I substitue that in equal weight to the flours indicated?


  5. @cocoahottie says:

    What would 80 grams convert to in a measuring cup?

    • Kim Christensen says:

      You need a food scale. You can find them easily at kitchen/cooking stores

    • missQ says:

      well technically if you do the math.. the flax seed meal is 10 grams which translates into 2 tbsp, so 80 grams would translate into 1 cup, but since oats are bigger than meal i would do about 1 1/8 cups. i dont think its that serious that you need to go out and buy a food scale unless you are going to be making like a 100 lb batch

      • Sarah says:

        using a food scale doesn't have to be for 100lb batch!! by using it you can switch out any of the flours for others, any milk (or substitute) in place of buttermilk, etc. It's really very liberating! :)

  6. Debbie says:

    Mmmm…. going to pick up buttermilk and currants tomorrow so I can try this. Looks good!

  7. micky says:

    is there anything to sub for the almonds. My daughter is deathly allergic to tree nuts.

    • Yeah says:

      You could try coconut flour (coconut is the worlds largest seed) which is delicious but a bit pricey. Or millet /millet flour quinoa flour, or a bean flour

    • Kim Christensen says:

      You could substitute an equal weight of a finely ground seed, which would have the same fatty properties as almond flour. Try grinding pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, or sunflower seeds to a fine powder in a coffee grinder or a high powered blender like a vitamix. Just be careful not to grind too long, or you'll make seed butter! :) I made this recipe with homemade cashew flour, and it worked great. I often use homemade pumpkin seed flour or other seed flour as a sub for almond flour in recipes. I wouldn't suggest using coconut flour as the other commenter suggested, as it is more absorbent than seed, nut, or other grain flours and behaves totally differently. It will make your dough VERY thick.

  8. Adam says:

    Oats themselves don't contain gluten, but they are often contaminated during growing/processing.. but you can buy certified gluten-free oats

  9. Eileen says:

    I also would like to know how to measure 80 grams.

  10. Eileen says:

    I am also dairy intolerant. Can I use Almond Milk instead of Buttermilk?

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