Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the traditional way with this recipe for gluten free Irish soda bread. It tastes just like you remember it did before you went gluten free!
There’s a great recipe for gluten free Irish Soda Bread in my first cookbookand in GFOAS Bakes Breadand that’s what I have always made when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around. If you have that book (thank you!) and make that recipe, don’t let me stop you!
But since a couple readers have been asking for a recipe for the holiday, I thought I’d just go ahead and post the book recipe right here on the blog. Since my first book doesn’t have too many photos (ah, the joys of being a first-time author and having no juice at the publisher!) and in the photo shoot for Bakes Bread we just didn’t have the time to shoot the recipe (ah the joys of paying a photographer thousands a day!), it’s fun to be able to show, and not just tell.
And then I started adapting it a bit here and there, scaling it up, baking it in a round cake pan. It’s that gluten free Irish Soda Bread recipe I’m sharing here.
What sort of Irish soda bread is this?
Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread, not a yeast bread (although frankly I think it would make a fabulous yeast bread), but it’s not your typical quick bread. First off, it isn’t baked in a loaf pan like most quick breads.
So there’s that. But the way I go about things, it’s also made more like a pastry. That means cold ingredients, chunks of butter and a light touch when handling.
All that leads to a light, tender and almost flaky pastry-like bread. But it slices perfectly, either in wedges or more traditional slices.
Sometimes I make it with fewer raisins, sometimes with more. I honestly can’t decide which I like better. I do know that it’s just not the start of spring without some Irish Soda Bread.
Since I published this recipe, I’ve also published a recipe for savory gluten free Irish soda bread that’s probably more of a traditional bread. It doesn’t even have a single raisin!
Like this recipe?
Prep time:Cook time:Yield:1 loaf
4 cups (560 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used my Better Than Cup4Cup, but any of my recommended all purpose blends will do), plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, roughly chopped and chilled
1 1/2 to 2 cups (225 g to 300 g) raisins (Thompson seedless raisins are my favorite)
2 eggs (120 g, weighed out of shell)
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups (12 to 14 fluid ounces) buttermilk, chilled
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch round baking pan and set it aside.
Make the dough. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the chopped and chilled butter, and toss to coat the butter in the dry ingredients. Between your well-floured thumb and forefinger, flatten each chunk of butter and return it to the dry ingredients. Add the raisins (more or less, to taste), and toss to coat the raisins in the dry ingredients. Add the eggs to 1 1/2 cups of the chilled buttermilk and beat to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the buttermilk and egg mixture and mix gently to combine. The dough should come together. With clean hands, knead the dough gently. If there are any spots that are dry and crumbly, add more buttermilk by the tablespoon as necessary to bring the dough together.
Shape the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle lightly with more flour. Pat the dough into a round that is approximately 9-inches in diameter, piling it higher toward the center and sprinkling lightly with more flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Place the dough in the prepared baking pan and, with a very sharp knife, slice a large “X” on the top about 1-inch deep (each slash should be about 6-inches long). If the dough seems to have warmed during handling, place the pan in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes or until the butter is once again firm.
Bake the bread. Place the baking pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the bread is firm to the touch (about 45 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool further. Slice and serve warm, with butter. It is also excellent the next day, toasted.