Listen. I could live and die for a beautiful, yeasty, airy sourdough loaf with those gorgeous scores and perfectly browned crust. But I also crave simplicity, especially when life throws other priorities at me outside of the kitchen. Does that mean we sacrifice our gorgeous gorgeous homemade loaves? Never! Keep this vegan Irish soda bread loaf in your back pocket (not literally, that would be weird) for days when you can’t be bothered to knead, proof, and wait. The loaf is:
- Tender and crumbly with a crispy crust
- Faintly sweet, but not overly so
- Beautifully scented with orange zest and currants
- Perfect for cozy weekend mornings with a cup of tea
Irish Soda Bread’s Key Ingredients
You need less than 10 ingredients to pull this stunning loaf together.
- Unbleached all-purpose flour: Since this is the main ingredient, you’ll want a good quality, unbleached, organic (if possible) flour. My go-to supplier here in Texas is Barton Springs Mill. You may also play around with subbing a cup of whole wheat or spelt flour — although I haven’t tested this, so I can’t speak to the results! Let me know if you experiment in the comments.
- Pure cane sugar: Just a pinch! Two tablespoons is all the bread needs for a subtle sweetness.
- Baking soda: Without the presence of yeast or a sourdough starter, the bread needs a leavening agent. Baking soda gives the bread its rise.
- Vegan butter: To me, Miyoko’s European Style Plant Milk Butter (hey Miyoko’s, let’s collab!) is unmatched in quality and flavor. It only has six ingredients and uses cultured cashew milk and coconut oil as the base. Most other widely-available vegan butters use a mix of vegetable oils that almost always contain palm oil. Big sad face.
- Vegan buttermilk: Simply mix together any unsweetened plant milk with a splash of lemon juice and set aside for a few minutes for it to curdle — et violà! Buttermilk.
- Ground flax seeds: Mixed with water, this acts as a binder in the loaf. It’s important the bread uses a binder, as we’re not kneading it to strengthen the gluten like you would in a regular bread.
- Grated orange zest: This perfumes the bread with a lovely, citrusy-sweet aroma that elevates it to the next level.
- Dried currants: Other dried fruits, such as raisins or cranberries, also work well. Use what you like!
How to Make Irish Soda Bread
The process is similar to other no-knead breads: mix, dump, shape, bake.
- Preheat your oven to 375 F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Add the small-diced cold vegan butter and mix until incorporated.
- Mix together the rest of the ingredients and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until a dough has formed, then fold in the currants.
- Dump out the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Don’t knead it much, or else it’ll be tough.
- Transfer to the parchment-lined sheet and score an X in the top.
- Bake until golden brown and perfect!
What To Serve With Irish Soda Bread
Serve your bread slathered in good vegan butter and jam — it’s immensely satisfying alongside a steamy cup of tea or coffee. A simple tofu scramble and/or plant-based breakfast sausage added to the plate is also nice if you crave protein in the mornings like I do.
More baked-to-perfection goodness:
- Raspberry Crumble Bars with Almonds
- Gingerbread Spiced Scones
- Espresso Fudge Skillet Brownies
- Rosemary Pine Nut Cookies
Vegan Irish Soda Bread with Orange and Currants
- 1 3/4 cup unsweetened plant milk of choice
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 2 tbsp water
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp pure cane sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 tbsp cold vegan butter small diced
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- 1 cup dried currants (sub raisins or dried cranberries)
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Prepare the flax egg by whisking together the ground flax seed and water in a small bowl. Set aside to gel.
- Prepare the buttermilk by mixing together the plant milk and lemon juice. Set aside to curdle.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the cold diced vegan butter and mix until all the butter is coated in flour and evenly distributed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the grated orange zest, milk/lemon juice, and flax seed mixture. Then, add to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
- Fold in the currants.
- Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and form it into a rough ball.
- Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet and score an X in the top.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a golden crust has developed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Serve warm (the bread may be crumbly) or allow to cool before slicing.
Be sure to check out my other Ina Garten inspired recipes made vegan.