Rustic soda bread, hot and fragrant, crunchy on the outside- soft on the inside, simple goodness-like a rustic scone- and just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day.
This is a dairy free, soaked recipe very similar to the buttermilk version I made here. This version also contains oatmeal for a lovely addition. The caraway seeds add so much flavor, and the raisins sweetness. But really could you add what you like! Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, it would all be good.
By the way, the traditional soda bread would be a very simple, basic loaf. None of these special ingredients added. For that matter, it also wouldn’t contain palm oil and coconut milk! But it sure tastes good this way!
Soda bread is an example of ingenuity in cooking by using what’s available. It was developed because the Irish couldn’t grow hard wheat in which to make risen bread. I love this rustic loaf, so I am glad they invented it!
I use coconut milk tonic for my liquid base for a nice soft crumb, but I have made it with just plain water (with the vinegar added) before. It’s a bit drier but still good (it probably won’t last quite as long however). But feel free to play around with what dairy free milk you want to use. I imagine that a creamy almond milk would work great as well.
For an Irish feast, you can serve this with some frugal Irish Lamb Soup.
Irish Soda Bread (Dairy Free-Vegan)
Makes two small loaves, 16 slices
You can get Spectrum brand palm oil at many stores, labeled as “non-hydrogenated shortening”. I also melted coconut oil, added it to the liquid ingredients and mixed it up with good results too. Butter, of course, is traditional and can be used instead, with buttermilk as the liquid.
4 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup of non-hydrated organic palm oil
1 cup of rolled oats
1 1/2 Cups of Coconut Milk Tonic*
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 1/2 scant cups of currants or raisins (you can substitute half chopped walnuts)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* To make, empty one premium can of coconut milk (I like Thai Kitchen’s) into a half gallon mason jar or pitcher. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and mix well. I use this in all of my baked goods with great results.
1-The night before, add the pastry flour to a large bowl. Mix in the palm oil either using a pastry cutter or a “rubbing” it in with your finger. When the palm oil is cut into pea sized pieces, mix in the rolled oats. Add the coconut milk tonic and the vinegar and stir in. You will probably need to hand knead (do so right in the bowl) the last bit of flour in. When everything is combined, cover well and leave out on the counter top overnight.
2-When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
3-Place your dough on your counter
And press out
Then pour your raisin mixture on top.
It will seem impossible to knead it in by looking at it, but don’t worry! It will. Fold your dough in half, over the raisin mixture.
Then press down with the flats of your hands until it looks like this.
Gather any loose raisins and place on top.
Then fold the dough in half again over the little raisin mixture.
Press this down
Continue this same process for a few more turns. This will be a messy project and it will seem like it will never get combined, but then you will get something that looks like this
At this point, you can try to round it up a little me into a ball and give a few kneads, just like a regular bread dough (it will be a stiffer dough however.) When everything seems mixed it, round it up into a ball.
Cut this ball in half, right down the middle. Then place your two halves cut side down.
And press down to about a 2 1/2 inch thickness (also round out the edges)Cut an X on the top of your loaf, and place on a jellyroll pan covered with parchment paper. It’s ready to bake! Place in the middle of your oven and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes. The tops and bottoms should be nice and browned when done.
Cool on cooling racks. Because soda bread can a be a little more crumbly, I suggest that you cut it into wedges to serve.
This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday! Check it out.
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