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Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread

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Easy to make, hearty and flavorful gluten-free Irish Soda Bread that goes great alongside any meal. We enjoy it around St. Patrick’s Day and throughout the year!Loaf of Gluten-free Irish Soda BreadIf you are looking for an easy to make, yeast-free bread that is great to serve with soup, gluten-free chiligluten-free beef stew, or any hearty main dish, this gluten-free Irish Soda Bread would be a great choice!

I think I only had Irish Soda bread once or twice before going gluten-free. Since mastering this recipe, I’ve had several times in the past year and it’s a yearly gluten-free St. Patrick’s Day meal tradition!

A few years ago I made three Irish Soda Bread recipes to bring to a potluck. Everyone tried them and gave me feedback and this one was the clear winner.

I’ve made it with the Zante currants and without – it is great both ways. I preferred using Zante currants over raisins, since they are smaller, but you could also use raisins. I’ve got texture issues with raisins!

Loaf of the Best Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread

 

We really enjoyed this served with butter or honey butter too. YUM!

Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread sliced

Notes on ingredients for this Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread:

  • Flour: I’ve tested this with three different gluten-free flour blends with great success. Maninis Multi-Purpose Flour Blend, gfJules all-purpose gluten-free flour (buy direct) or from Amazon here, and with Gluten Free Mama’s all-purpose almond flour blend available from Amazon with success too! 
  • If the gluten-free flour blend you use already has xanthan gum or guar gum in it, then omit the xanthan gum called for in this recipe.
  • Raisins or Currants: You can use raisins or currants. I opted to use Zante currants. They are made from tiny grapes and I’ve found that while I dislike raisins, I do like Zante currants. Why? They are so small that they add just a bit of flavor without a weird mushy texture that you can get from raisins. They can sometimes be found in a box near the raisins and dried cranberries at your local store, though I admit I had to go to 2 stores before I could find them here locally! You can also order online – I get them here at nuts.com now. Amazon also carries these Zante currants. Note that Zante currants are not actually currants, which is why I specified what they are called.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk in the U.S. is gluten-free. If you don’t wish to buy buttermilk, you can make your own buttermilk at home

While the dough with gfJules was a little stickier to work with, I honestly couldn’t tell any taste or texture difference in the baked loaves. I can definitely recommend you use whichever flour blend you have access to or want to order. I highly suspect that other good quality gluten-free flour blends will work well in this recipe as well. I just wanted to specifically mention the ones I’ve tested it with so far. I simply cannot test every blend available, but please do try with your favorite blend and comment to let others know!

After you shape your dough into a smooth mound, you’ll brush it with a mixture of buttermilk and butter. Then you’ll cut a cross or an X into it.

unbaked gluten-free Irish soda bread with a cross cut into it

Why is there a cross cut into Irish Soda Bread?

There are several reasons why a cross or an x is cut into a loaf of Irish Soda bread before baking. First, there is a baking benefit to this. Since the dough is shaped into a smooth mound, the center is very thick compared to the rest of the bread, and it would be easy for it to remain uncooked. The cross helps the heat reach the center, and allows the loaf to grow and expand as it bakes. 
The second reason why a cross is cut into a loaf is for symbolism. Some felt that a cross would ward off evil spirits or would help them be blessed.

I think you’ll be blessed with how delicious this is actually! 

I recommend baking your loaf on a cookie sheet with a sheet or parchment paper on it. If you don’t use parchment paper yet when you bake, I highly recommend it! With most recipes, it saves you from having to grease any pans at all, plus no cleaning up! You can buy these pre-cut parchment paper sheets from Amazon.

Sliced Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread

Our small group from church has a potluck dinner each year near St. Patrick’s Day. I was asked to bring this gluten-free Irish Soda bread again this year, and thankfully I made two loaves, because it all got eaten! A couple of the other people in the group are wheat-free, but the rest are all “regular” eaters and all loved the bread. You definitely won’t miss the gluten in this!

This is a great choice for your gluten-free St. Patrick’s Day dinner. It would be great served with this gluten-free Corned Beef in the slow cooker if you’ve got that on the menu. It would also go great alongside this Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie. Honestly, I haven’t even planned the rest of my St. Patrick’s Day menu, but I do know I’ll be making this bread again!

Loaf of Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread with Currants

What are some other yeast-free breads I recommend you make soon? I’m glad you asked! 😉 I make these gluten-free buttermilk biscuits to have with breakfast or dinner and love them! 

If you try this, I’d love to hear what flour blend you used successfully and what you served your delicious loaf with! Enjoy!

If you make these and love them, please come back and give this recipe a 5 star rating in the recipe card! Feel free to comment with tips or to share any successful substitutions you made.

Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread Recipe:

Yield: 10 servings

Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread

Loaf of Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread

This slightly sweet loaf of gluten-free Irish Soda Bread is easy to make!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (375g) good quality all-purpose gluten-free flour blend*
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum *see note
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick =8 Tbsp.) cold unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup currants or raisins
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, room temperature

For brushing on loaf:

  • 1 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum (if needed), sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until pea-sized crumbs.
  4. Stir in the currants.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk and egg then add to the flour/butter mixture.
  6. Start with a spatula to gently stir, then switch to using your hands to mix the batter together to form a wet dough that you can form into a ball.
  7. Dough will be quite sticky, but you should be able to form into a ball shape and place on the parchment paper lined baking pan.
  8. In a separate bowl, combine 1 Tbsp. melted butter and 1 Tbsp. buttermilk. Using a pastry brush, brush the whole loaf with the butter/buttermilk mixture.
  9. Use a knife to cut an X shape in the top of the loaf.
  10. Bake at 375° for about 50-55 minutes, or until golden brown and no wet batter visible in the slit.
  11. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes, then move to cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. No need to serve this hot, it tastes great and cuts better when cooled off!

Notes

* If the gluten-free flour blend you use already has xanthan gum or guar gum in it, then omit the xanthan gum called for in this recipe.

Recipe tested successfully with Maninis Multi-Purpose Flour Blend and gfJules flour blend. I recommend either one and link to where to buy in the recipe post.

Recipe slightly adapted from Maninis Gluten Free blog.

Pin this gluten-free soda bread to your Gluten-free Breads board on Pinterest:

Best Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Pics and a bit of text updated March 2019. 
Old pic:

Irish Soda Bread made gluten-free! Even the gluten-eaters came back for seconds and thirds of this bread!

I hope you and your family enjoy this gf Irish Soda Bread as much as my family!

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Yvette

Monday 5th of April 2021

This was a fabulous find for me! Thank you - I so missed soda bread. I used the King Arthur cup for cup. I don’t think the recipe says how big to make the round. I did about 8”. I only cooked for about 40 minutes and it came out too dry. Still yummy, slathered with butter. I will adjust next time - I will definitely be making often.

Lucretia

Monday 22nd of March 2021

Real Irish Soda Bread is not made with egg. Is the egg used in this recipe because it is gluten free?

K Ward

Sunday 21st of March 2021

Couldn't survive St Pat's ☘ holiday w/o Irish Soda Bread so this GF option is great! Low sugar is appreciated as well. Any substitute for buttermilk such as almond milk, oat milk? Thanks again for sharing your recipe!

Vicki

Saturday 20th of March 2021

Made this today, it came out perfect!!! I’ll definitely be making this again and again. It smells amazing while it’s baking. I used currants and bobs red mill 1:1 baking flour.

Mia

Thursday 18th of March 2021

Really good! I used King Arthur GF AP. My dough was rather dry but wet enough to stick together in a ball. I baked for 45 minutes as the top was burning. Slightly doughy tasting in the middle so I think I'll risk overcooking the top next time. Will definitely try this one again next St. Patrick's Day :)