Special Diet - Created Date : 25.9.2019

Gluten-Free Soaked Irish Soda Bread

Gluten-Free Soaked Irish Soda Bread

Gluten-Free Soaked Irish Soda Bread

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Whether you're new to bread-baking or an old hand, this Gluten-Free Soaked Irish Soda Bread will appeal to you!

The results: delicious, exciting. The process: easy, fun!

Soda breads, by nature, are not difficult. When baking soda reacts with acidic buttermilk, the dough rises. There's no yeast, no starter, and no kneading! I use simple hand beaters. Or, the paddle attachment to your upright mixer works well, too.

Despite its ease, this gluten-free bread yields impressive results — a beautiful “x” across its top which bursts open during baking, a golden crust, a hearty yet soft middle. Although optional, my family loves to add raisins. And why not cinnamon, too, for cinnamon-raisin toast?

The History Of Soda Bread

Soda breads originated in Ireland. Apparently, they were also common fare in Australia, Serbia, Scotland and the early Americas. Baking soda was first introduced to Ireland in the 1800s, when virtually no one there had ovens. The soda allowed them to make loaves of bread on their stove tops, in cast iron pots with the lids on!

Poor peasants with no ovens also had only meager staples: flour, buttermilk, salt and baking soda. Surprisingly, although created out of want, soda breads have remained popular. That’s because they’re reliable. They don’t require advanced bread baking skills or a lot of work. And the ingredients are usually on hand.

Plus, as you’ll see upon making this recipe, soda breads are delicious! They deliver a yeast-like bread that can be used for toast or sandwiches, for a healthy snack or side.

Staunch traditionalists stick by Irish soda bread’s original four ingredients: flour, buttermilk, salt and baking soda. They’re happy to eat versions like this one, studded with raisins and leavened with a bit of egg, but technically this recipe is then called a cake, specifically Spotted Dog or Railway Cake.

As you’ll see from other soda bread recipes, raisins, eggs, butter (and now gluten-free!) changes are part of the food evolution that occurs in our world. There are always regional variations on any original version.

Fun fact: the beautiful cross cut into the top of the loaf allows it to expand while baking. The quarters created by the cross are called farls.

About These Gluten-Free Ingredients

My version of Irish soda bread is gluten-free, which actually mimics — to an extent — original soda bread. Irish bakers used soft wheat, which contains less gluten than hard wheat flour.

Let's go through a few of the ingredients in this gluten-free soda bread…

Buttermilk — to soak the flours and make them more digestible by reducing phytate content

I love using the traditional buttermilk to “pre-digest” the flour. I can't imagine not doing so — it's already in the recipe!

By combining flour and buttermilk 12 to 24 hours in advance, we create a better loaf for gut and body. Without further ado, here's my gluten-free and soaked version of Irish soda bread, combining traditional preparation methods with a traditional loaf for the best of both worlds.

Gluten-Free Soaked Irish Soda Bread

Soda breads are reliable, easy, and require only simple ingredients that most people keep on-hand. No yeast, no starter, no kneading... This Gluten-Free Soaked Irish Soda Bread combines traditional preparation methods with a traditional loaf for the healthiest loaf for gut and body!

Use hand beaters on medium-low speed to combine all ingredients well, about 30 seconds. Do not over-mix.

Add raisins, if using, and mix again to combine.

Dough will be soft at this point, but will continue to stiffen quickly.

Form dough into desired boule shape, place on prepared cookie sheet, and continue to pat it into desired shape.

Use a sharp knife to make an “x” across the surface of the loaf, about 1/2-inch deep.

Place into preheated oven and bake for about 55 minutes, until it feels somewhat light and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. (This loaf will not sound as light as some loaf recipes — it’s a bit heavier by nature.)

About Megan Stevens

Megan lives in a tiny house in Oregon with her husband and three children. She owned a gut-healing, Traditional cafe for 7 years, which she and her husband just sold to begin their next adventure of adopting a fourth child. She loves helping others on their healing journeys, as well as innovating grain-free, sugar-free recipes. Megan also works as a Health Consultant, helping clients to implement and succeed on healing diets. Megan's first cookbook, EAT BEAUTIFUL: Grain-free, Sugar-Free & Loving It is a #1 New Release on Amazon. Join Megan at her blog Eat Beautiful and on her Facebook page, where she cultivates a community of healing by providing recipes, nutritional insights, and the latest in remedial articles.

Reader Interactions


hi Megan,

I’m curious if I can use my brown rice flour Sourdough Starter (resting in the fridge the past few days) in place of any of the water and rice flour here? It was very bubbly and alive prior to my letting it rest…takes us at least a week to go through a loaf of bread, sometimes longer!

Otherwise I will Sour per this recipe . Looks yummy!


Hi Judy,

I think in this case it is best to go by the recipe exactly. I LOVE using a brown rice sourdough starter for baking, but because this recipe is soaked it would be hard for me to direct you on ratios without baking a few loaves myself. Best wishes and enjoy!

Hi Megan,

Thank you , I will use your recipe! ….I wasn’t sure if I should Star at all as I hadn’t baked it yet so I gave 3 for looking so tempting! I didn’t mean to slight it by the 3 stars, oops! I’ll be making your bread on the weekend and give you feedback for sure!! I’m excited!

Hi Stephanie, yes, actually. There is a way to do this recipe without dairy. You can use 1/2 cup sauerkraut juice (not one with strong flavors like garlic ?? ). And then the rest of that initial (buttermilk) liquid, (which would be 1 cup) can be a non-dairy milk of choice. So instead of 1-1/2 cups buttermilk, use 1/2 cup sauerkraut juice and 1 cup non-dairy milk. I haven’t done this with this recipe, but I have done many similar exchanges with soaked breads, so it should work well.

Question about the soaked Irish soda bread: This is my first time baking with soaked flours. I’m not a baker so I am really outside my knowledge area.

I followed the recipe instructions exactly. The description said to form the batter into a ball and put in a ceramic dish to sour overnight. My batter was a very thick pourable batter – kind of like cake batter. There was no way it was forming a ball. I put it in a large glass bowl so it’s kind of in a ball. ??

Hi Megan

I just am starting to make this sofa bread and my mixture is as Beth’s and is more like cake batter. I followed directions as Beth did exactly; I was going to add more rice flour but decided to just leave it and see what happens in morning.

Hi Lindsay, I haven’t made the recipe subbing out the rice flour so I can’t say for sure. You could certainly sub it with 1-3 other flours, as each have their own properties when baked and flavors. If you have a gluten-free blend you like, that may work fine.

Hi Megan,

I’m searching for a bread recipe that’s… get ready for it… coconut, dairy, egg, and gluten free. I’m using goat milk and the gluten part is taken care of but I’m not sure how to substitute the egg and butter. I don’t have access to goat butter. Suggestions?



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