Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

5 from 8 votes
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An easy recipe for Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread. This easy gluten-free quick bread is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! 

gluten-free Irish soda bread sliced on a cutting board with a blue kitchen towel

Easy Gluten-Free Soda Bread Recipe

This gluten-free Irish soda bread is just like the traditional Irish soda bread. It is a quick bread that does not require yeast but uses baking soda and buttermilk to raise the dough.

It has a golden-brown crust with a dense, tight crumb. The bread is not heavy, but it is soft inside. The texture of the gluten-free Irish soda bread is similar to my Gluten-Free Biscuits or Gluten-Free Scones. My kids said that it actually tastes like a giant biscuit.

This dough comes together easily and the recipe also has a dairy-free and vegan option. You can see just how easy it is to make in the recipe steps photos and the recipe video.

gluten-free Irish soda bread recipe ingredients photo collage

Ingredients In Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this easy gluten-free Irish soda bread. I bet you already have the ingredients already in your pantry.

  1. Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour with Xanthan Gum: Using a gluten-free flour blend made with rice flour, starches, and xanthan gum mimic the taste and texture of traditional all-purpose flour. I bake with Pillsbury gluten-free flour.
  2. Granulated Sugar: Not only does sugar sweeten the soda bread a little, but it helps it to be soft and moist.
  3. Baking Powder & Baking Soda: The baking powder and baking soda are what help this gluten-free Irish soda bread to rise.
  4. Salt: Salt adds flavor to the quick bread.
  5. Butter: Butter not only adds flavor and moisture but also necessary fats. The little bits of cold butter melt and make steam that helps puff and lift the dough. This recipe also works well with dairy-free butter.
  6. Raisins: Traditional Irish soda bread recipes use currants. Currants can be hard to find, so I substitute raisins or even dried cranberries.
  7. Milk: Milk not only adds flavor but also protein and moisture to the bread. It is important for a soft crumb and golden crust. This recipe also works well with dairy-free milk.
  8. White Vinegar: It is used to make homemade buttermilk. Soda bread needs an acidic liquid to activate the baking soda and help the bread rise up and have the correct texture.
  9. Egg: The whisked egg adds moisture, flavor, and protein. Gluten-free bread dough with an egg also helps it rise better.

How To Make Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

The full recipe ingredients are at the bottom of the page in the recipe card

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • In a large measuring cup, add the white vinegar to the milk and stir to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes in the refrigerator to stay cold. (This makes homemade buttermilk.)
  • In a large bowl, mix together the gluten-free flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. (photo 1)
  • Add the cold butter and cut it into the gluten-free flour mixture with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until it resembles small peas. (photo 2)
  • Stir in the raisins. If you are not a fan of dried fruit, you can leave it out. (photo 3)
  • Whisk the egg and homemade buttermilk (milk and vinegar mixture) together.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the egg and buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. (photo 4)

gluten-free Irish soda bread recipe steps 1-4 photo collage

  • Using a large spoon, mix the gluten-free flour mixture and milk mixture together to form a shaggy dough. The dough will be soft but not too sticky. Do not over-mix the dough, or you will end up with tough bread. (photo 5)
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of gluten-free flour onto parchment paper. Turn the dough onto the parchment paper and gently bring the dough together into a round about 8-inches by 8-inches. If the dough is sticking to your hands, lightly wet your hands with water. (photo 6)
  • Gently fold the dough over on itself 2 times. You do this by folding the dough in half on top of itself and then doing it a second time. Form the dough back into an 8-inch by 8-inch round. (photo 7)
  • Place the round dough onto a greased baking cast iron skillet, baking sheet, or baking pan.
  • Using a knife score the bread with a deep cross on top. Do not skip this step because it helps the middle of the bread bake through. (photo 8)
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F, then turn down the oven to 400°F and bake for 30 minutes more. When done, the loaf will be golden brown and sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • Allow the loaf to cool for a few minutes, and then place it on a wire rack to cool.

gluten-free Irish soda bread recipe steps 5-8 photo collage

Tips for Making the Best Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

  • Do not over-mix the dough. It should be a “shaggy” dough. Overmixing can make for tough bread.
  • If the dough is sticking to your hands, lightly wett your hands with water to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
  • Don’t skip the step of scoring the top of the dough with an “X” before baking. This helps the center bake all the way through.
  • I bake my gluten-free Irish soda bread in a cast-iron skillet because it makes for the best crispy crust. You can also use a baking sheet or baking pan.
  • To ensure the crust is crispy, do not open the oven door during baking.
  • You can use an egg or milk wash on the bread before you bake it for a shiny and more golden crust.
  • I like to brush the top of the bread with melted butter after it is done baking.

Gluten-Free Flour

This gluten-free Irish soda bread was made with Pillsbury gluten-free flour. It is a cup-for-cup all-purpose gluten-free rice flour blend and already has the xanthan gum and starches in it.

Most gluten-free all-purpose flour blends have starches and xanthan gum already in them. The xanthan gum helps replace the elasticity and texture of gluten. So make sure to check the ingredients of your gluten-free flour so as not to add any extra xanthan gum to your flour if it already includes it. If you do, you will get gummy bread!

This gluten-free soda bread recipe will not work with almond, oat, or coconut flour.

gluten-free Irish soda bread in a cast iron skillet

Tip For Measuring Gluten-Free Flour

It is super important to use a measuring cup made for dry ingredients (not a pyrex liquid measuring cup) to measure gluten-free flour. I measure the gluten-free flour with the “spoon & level” method.

I use a large spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup. Then I use the back of a knife to level off the top of the measuring cup.

Please do not scoop the flour directly out of the bag with your measuring cup. If you do, you could end up with more flour than is called for in the recipe.

Ingredient Substitutions

I have also test-baked this gluten-free Irish soda bread recipe with several ingredient substitutions. These substitutions are for dairy-free and vegan options.

For Dairy-Free:

  • For the milk, you can substitute it with unsweetened almond milk.
  • For the butter, you can use dairy-free or vegan butter. I like Smart Balance buttery spread.

For the White Vinegar:

  • You can substitute it with lemon juice.

For Egg-Free:

  • You can substitute Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free egg replacer.

gluten-free Irish soda bread sliced on a cutting board with a blue napkin

Why I Love This Recipe!

You only need one bowl, a fork, and a large spoon to make this gluten-free Irish soda bread. In less than one hour, you can enjoy this gluten-free soda bread. This simple gluten-free bread is an easy recipe to make for St. Patrick’s Day!

Mama Knows Gluten Free e-book photo collage

More Gluten-Free Bread Recipes To Try!

Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!

5 from 8 votes

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

Servings: 10 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
gluten-free Irish soda bread on a wooden cutting board with a blue napkin
An easy recipe for Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread. This easy gluten-free quick bread recipe is perfect for St. Patrick's Day! The recipe also has a dairy-free and vegan option.

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour with xanthan gum, I like Pillsbury gluten-free flour. Not all gluten-free flours are created equal. You may experience different baking results depending on the gluten-free flour blend you choose.
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and chopped, For dairy-free use Smart Balance butter.
  • 1 cup raisins, currants, or dried cranberries, You can also leave it out.
  • 1 3/4 cups milk, For dairy-free use unsweetened almond milk.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar, You can substitute lemon juice for white vinegar.
  • 1 large egg, For egg-free use Bob's Red Mill gluten-free egg replacer.

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • In a large measuring cup, add the white vinegar to the milk and stir to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes in the refrigerator to stay cold. (homemade buttermilk)
  • In a large bowl, mix together the gluten-free flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the cold butter and cut it into the gluten-free flour mixture with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until it resembles small peas.
  • Stir in the raisins. If you are not a fan of dried fruit, you can leave it out.
  • Whisk the egg and homemade buttermilk (milk and vinegar mixture) together.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the egg and buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture.
  • Using a large spoon, mix the gluten-free flour mixture and milk mixture together to form a shaggy dough. The dough will be soft but not too sticky. Do not over-mix the dough, or you will end up with tough bread.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of gluten-free flour onto parchment paper. Turn the dough onto the parchment paper and gently bring the dough together into a round, about 8-inches by 8-inches. If the dough is sticking to your hands, lightly wet your hands with water.
  • Gently fold the dough over on itself 2 times. You do this by folding the dough in half on top of itself and then doing it a second time. Form the dough back into an 8-inch by 8-inch round.
  • Place the round dough onto a greased baking cast iron skillet, baking sheet, or baking pan.
  • Using a knife, score the bread with a deep cross on top. Do not skip this step because it helps the middle of the bread bake though.
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F, then turn down the oven to 400°F and bake for 30 minutes more. When done, the loaf will be golden brown and sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • Allow the loaf to cool for a few minutes then, and then place it on a wire rack to cool.

Video

Notes

  • I like Pillsbury gluten-free flour. Not all gluten-free flours are created equal. You may experience different baking results depending on the gluten-free flour blend you choose.
  • For dairy-free: use Smart Balance butter and unsweetened almond milk.
  • For egg-free: use Bob's Red Mill gluten-free egg replacer.
  • For a browner crust, brush the dough with an egg or a milk wash before baking. 
  • I like to brush the top of the bread with melted butter after it is done baking.
  • Mama says, "always check your labels!"

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 317kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 7gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 373mgPotassium: 306mgFiber: 6gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 236IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 141mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Irish
Tried this recipe?Mention @mamaknowsglutenfree or tag #mamaknowsglutenfree!

About Audrey Roberts

I'm Audrey Roberts, a busy mama of four and I love sharing the recipes that I make for my family. I make gluten-free family-friendly recipes that are simple and delicious that you can too! I use easy to find ingredients that won't break your budget. You will also find dairy-free options and Paleo recipes. I am also the author of The Everything Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cookbook, which is an Amazon Best Selling Cookbook in the US and Internationally. Living gluten-free since 2010. I hope by me sharing my journey it may help you with yours.

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21 Comments

  1. I love this recipe. Since I am allergic to yeast, I am always lookin for quick breads. This is definitely a keeper!!!

  2. My first attempt EVER with Irish soda bread; I made it this evening with the modifications below and it came out perfect!
    – King Arthur 1:1 GF flour
    – Oat Milk (original)
    – Dried cranberries
    It came out as promised and tastes amazing. I highy recommend this recipe.

    1. Hi Anne! You can certainly reduce the amount of sugar, but it may affect the final product. The bread also may not brown as much on the exterior. A mixture of sugar and honey could work well, but I can’t offer specific suggestions without testing it myself.

  3. Loved this! Did not put raisins in mine and still was outstanding. Husband kept saying really outstanding.

  4. This recipe was a great success (see one suggested modification below). I have tried other GF bread recipies and they were very disappointing. This one was delicious and received thumbs up from two people who do not need gluten free. I made it in a 8″ cast iron pan greased with canola oil and it came right out.

    I suggest reducing the milk from 1-3/4 cups to 1-1/2 cups (I haven’t tried this yet). The dough was too wet. I dusted it with a little more GF flour so that I could handle the dough once I turned it out. Using wet hands (according the recipe) would not have been good. SInce the dough was on the wet side I had to bake it just a littl longer (tooth pick and thump test). The bread was good through the next day. I recommend a a quick foil-wrapped re-warm in the oven. I can’t wait to make this recipe again.

  5. Can I use Buckwheat flour, because where i live there is hard to get other GF flour or it is double the price.

    1. Hi Laura! I have not baked with buckwheat flour, so I do not know if it will work well with any of my recipes. My readers in the UK use Doves gluten-free flour successfully with my recipes.

  6. I made this recipe with Namaste gf flour and dried cranberries. It was delicious and not as dry as most Irish soda breads. It is definitely a keeper.

  7. I made this bread as per instructions using almond milk (unsweetened but had vanilla in it) and King Arthur GF Measure for Measure 1:1 flour. It came out perfect and better than the non GF breads I have made! Irish Soda Bread is the one thing I missed since being GF on St. Patrick’s Day. Finally I can join in the festivities and not feel out of the loop. The only thing now is that I have to fend off all the non Gluten Free people who are devouring it at a rapid pace! Thank YOU!!!

  8. Just made this Irish Soda Bread for St Pat’s Day tomorrow. Of course, had to taste it today. My husband & I loved it. My first attempt at any bread. Wonderful. Lots of steps but easy to follow. Just the best!

    1. Hi Lyn! You could add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum to the 4 cups of gluten-free flour. A 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum for every 1 cup of gluten-free flour in a recipe is a good guide. That ratio might increase slightly if you are working with something that needs more elasticity like yeast recipes. Thanks for asking. I hope you enjoy it!

    1. Yes Barbara you can use regular buttermilk in the recipe. Just leave out the white vinegar. I hope you enjoy it!

    1. Hi Rene! I recommend using a 9-inch or large castiron skillet. The bread loaf should be an 8-inch round. Thank you so much for asking. I hope you enjoy it!