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 dinner.
The reason why soda bread is ideal for gluten free baking comes 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!
Soaking Gluten Free Flour
Unlike my gluten-free sourdough bread, soaking and fermenting the flour is not required for the rising action of this loaf.
However, I always recommend soaking flour for gluten-free baked goods. It improves the flavour and structure and allows the flour to fully hydrate.
Prefermenting makes grains easier to digest by breaking down the complex carbs, so if baked goods make you feel sluggish, try starting with a ferment.
Here are the steps for soaking and prefermenting this soda bread recipe:
- Mix the buttermilk and flour in a large glass bowl.
- Cover with a tea towel and leave it on the counter to soak for at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours.
- Follow the rest of the recipe, mixing the rest of the ingredients directly into the soaked flour.
I like taking this basic gluten free soda bread recipe and flavouring it to suit the meal.
Here are a few of our favourite flavours:
- A seedy loaf: Add half cup of mixed flax, poppy and sesame seeds in the batter, then top the loaf with a sprinkle of mixed seeds. This is delicious toasted for breakfast.
- Wholegrain loaf: Traditional soda bread is often an earthy brown bread made with cracked grain. To simulate this flavour and texture add in 1/2 cup of millet.
- Lemon pepper loaf: Delicious with a bowl of soup. 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 a medium onion and saute until soft. Stir into the batter with 2 tbsp finely diced rosemary and 3/4 cup of cheese (reserve some for topping). This makes really good garlic bread.
- Cinnamon Raisin loaf: For a sweet tea-time loaf add in 1/4 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup of raisins and 1 tbsp of cinnamon.
Gluten Free Soda Bread
Gluten free soda bread is super easy and quick to make. It is my go-to for whenever I want a fresh loaf of bread for dinner. See the section above for 5 flavour options that are absolutely delicious.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 1 loaf 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Irish
- 3 cups gluten free flour (see notes)
- 1 2/3 cups cultured buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
- Additional flavours (see section above for options)
- Combine buttermilk and flour in a glass bowl. I recommend letting the flour soak and hydrate for at least 15 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Mix the remaining ingredients into the fermented dough. Be sure to fully beat in the egg so that everything is well mixed.
- Form the loaf and 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 6″ cake pan.
- Slice and freeze the bread within the first 2 days to prevent it from going stale. The frozen slices make delicious toast.
Keywords: gluten free, rosemary cheese, lemon pepper, seedy, cinnamon raisin, quick, easy, wholegrain, Saint Patrick’s Day