Soda bread is a soft textured bread that rises due to the reaction of the acid of a liquid like buttermilk, and a base like baking soda.
The cross on the soda bread has several explanations, legend has it that folks did it to “let the devil out” while it’s baking for good luck, and others say that it made it easy to divide into 4 pieces. It was also a symbol for a cross during Christian holidays. (Kitchen Project) But it also helps the bread to cook through!!!
It surprises some people to learn that it hasn’t been around for thousands of years. Bicarbonate of soda was first was introduced to Ireland around the 1840s!
The best part of this bread is that there is no waiting for it to rise. So, here’s my veganized version of this quick and yummy traditional loaf.
1½ cup almond milk (or other vegetable milk)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp baking soda
4 cups whole flour
1 tsp cane sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Lightly grease a baking sheet. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Place the almond milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes (this is the best way to create a vegan version of buttermilk!) then add the olive oil.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, soda, and salt.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, kneading until the dough just comes together but DO NOT OVERMIX!
Shape into a round loaf, cut an “X” onto the top with a knife and bake for 30-35 minutes until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If it isn’t ready after this time, turn it upside down on the baking sheet and bake for a few minutes more.