Gluten free bread always feels a bit… well… gluten free. However, gluten free soda bread is a perfect loaf of bread! It is so quick and easy to make that I often bake a loaf to serve with soup for dinner.
The reason why soda bread is an ideal gluten free loaf, stems from the Irish roots of soda bread. Ireland is too far north and too wet to grow high gluten wheat. So they developed soda bread instead, since the rising action doesn’t depend on gluten.
I have designed this recipe to mimic my wheat-based soda bread, with a few adjustments to account for the lack of gluten. However the results are just as delicious as any Irish Granny could make on her peat fire hearth!
Unlike my gluten free sourdough bread, prefermenting the flour is not required for the rising action of this loaf. If you are short on time, simply mix the bread and bake it.
However, I always recommend prefermenting flour, especially for gluten free baked goods. It improves the flavour and structure by allowing the flour to fully hydrate. Prefermented flours are also easier to digest, so if baked goods make you feel sluggish, try prefermentation.
- 3 cups gluten free flour (see notes)
- 1⅔ cups cultured buttermilk
- Remaining Ingredients
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
- Additional flavours (see below for ideas)
- Combine buttermilk and flour in a glass container and leave somewhere warm for up to 24 hours. (Prefermentation is optional, so you could mix and bake right away).
- Mix the remaining ingredients into the fermented dough. Be sure to fully beat in the eggs so that everything is well mixed.
- Bake at 400F (200C) for 30-40 min (until a toothpick comes out clean). Score the top of the loaf about halfway through the baking to prevent cracking in the crust.
-Though this recipe calls for buttermilk, you could use milk kefir, sour cream or yogurt.
-For this recipe either use 100% oat flour (for a traditional feel), a store-bought bread flour or follow my recipe for a homemade gluten free bread flour mix.
-Since this is a gluten free loaf, it will need the support of a loaf pan to keep it’s shape. If you want a more “free form” round appearance, use a round cake pan or cast iron dutch oven.
-Slice and freeze the bread within the first 2 days to prevent it from going stale. The frozen slices make delicious toast.
I like taking my basic gluten free soda bread recipe and flavouring it to suit my meal. Toasted seedy loaf or rosemary cheese loaf is absolutely amazing.
- A seedy loaf: Add half cup of mixed pumpkin, poppy and sunflower seeds in the batter, then top the loaf with a sprinkling of mixed seeds.
- Lemon pepper loaf: Add in 1 tsp of lemon zest, 2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper, 1 tbsp of chives and 3/4 cup of grated cheese (reserve some cheese for topping.)
- Rosemary cheese loaf: Dice an onion and saute. Add to the batter with 2 tbsp finely diced rosemary and 3/4 cup of cheese (reserve some for topping.)
- Cinnamon Raisin loaf: Add in 1/4 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup of raisins and 1 tbsp of cinnamon for a sweet tea-time loaf.