Thursday, March 17, 2016

Vegan Irish Soda Bread

Making Irish soda bread is a St. Patrick's Day tradition at our house but this year, I made it a little bit different to suit our family's new way of eating.

I "veganized" the soda bread and truly, it tastes just as good as the bread I made in years past.

There are lots of recipes and variations for soda bread out there. Some call for butter, raisins, currants and/or caraway seeds, but just about every recipe calls for buttermilk. My recipe, for the most basic soda bread, is just self-rising flour, baking soda and buttermilk.  The recipe comes from a booklet called "Step-By-Step Irish Farmhouse Cooking," that I purchased in 1993 while living in Coleraine, Northern Ireland.

To make the bread vegan, all I did was substitute soy milk mixed with a bit of lemon juice for the buttermilk. The ratio is for every cup of buttermilk, use 1 cup of soy milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. I've used this substitution many times and it works brilliantly. And, if you don't happen to have lemon juice, you can use white vinegar.

Here's the recipe:
Note: The recipe calls for self-rising wheat and self-rising white flour which you can purchase, but I always make my own. It's much more economical so I've also included that recipe below.

Irish Soda Bread
2 cups self-rising white flour
2 cups self-rising whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 to 3 cups soy milk
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
all-purpose flour for shaping the loaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Measure out two cups of the soy milk and stir in two tablespoons of lemon juice. You might need to mix up to one more full cup of this vegan buttermilk substitute, but don't mix it up unless you have to. Wait to see if you need it.

In a large bowl, mix together the self-rising flour and baking soda. Pour in enough of the soymilk/lemon mixture to moisten the ingredients and form a soft dough. If two cups isn't enough, mix up some more, 1/2 cup at a time.

Turn half of the dough onto floured surface and pat into a round. Place the round on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat with the second half of the dough.

Use a knife to score the top of the rounds into sixth's. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped with the fingers.
Loaves ready for the oven.

All done!

 Self-Rising Flour
1 cup all-purpose white or whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

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