I first fell in love with Irish soda bread when I was, as you might guess, in Ireland.
Back when I was teaching English in Prague in 2009, I spent a long weekend in Ireland with a friend and fellow teacher, Jackie. The two of us had a wonderful time, staying in cute little B&Bs and exploring the beautiful countryside and small towns.
Besides the gorgeous scenery, one of the big highlights was the soda bread that many of the inn owners would serve to us in the morning before we set out to explore. The bread is made without sugar so it wasn’t sweet at all, but it had a wonderful, hearty texture with a crunchy crust and a soft inside. It was usually filled with fruit, too – often raisins or figs – and we enjoyed it warm topped with butter and jam, licking our sticky fingers before heading out into the rainy Irish countryside.
When Matt and I were living in Chapel Hill, every March the Weaver Street Market near us sold a wonderful Irish soda bread in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. I bought the bread all month until they ran out, savoring the taste of Ireland and the memories that the bread brought back to me.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to try to recreate this bread at home, especially since I now know how easy it is to make. I was catching up on blogs yesterday when I saw a great looking Fig & Orange Oat Bread pop up on my friend Gina’s page, and at that moment I decided it was time to try my hand at a traditional soda bread, too.
For an extra challenge, I decided to keep the recipe vegan for my vegan friends, and whole wheat for a little added fiber and nutrition. Did you know that you can make a vegan buttermilk using almondmilk and some sort of acid (either lemon or lime juice or vinegar)? (More details are in the recipe.)
The final product came out even better than I’d hoped. One bite and I was back in Ireland, ready to explore a castle or take a hike on a rugged coastline. Just as I remembered, the bread has a crunchy crust and a soft inside, and each piece was filled with fruit. If you make this recipe, be sure to use whole wheat pastry flour, not just regular whole wheat flour – pastry flour has a much finer, softer texture and will result in a light and fluffy end product, unlike regular whole wheat flour which can be a lot more dense and chewy.
I hope you enjoy this bread as much as I did!
Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
This simple and filling vegan and whole wheat Irish Soda Bread is great served for breakfast with a little jam.
Ingredients (1 loaf)
*To make the vegan buttermilk, place 2 Tbsp. of lemon or lime juice in a measuring cup, then add almondmilk until the 2 cup line is reached. Let sit/curdle for a few minutes, then it’s ready to use!
In a large bowl, gently mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Pour in buttermilk and stir gently until mixed.
Fold in apples, raisins, and orange zest.
Transfer dough onto a large baking sheet that has been greased or cooking sprayed. Form dough into a loaf shape. Sprinkle oats on top if desired to make it look pretty!
Bake about 32 minutes, or until crust turns golden and a fork comes out clean.
Serve warm, topped with butter or jam, if desired!
If you like the sound of this bread, check out some of my other whole wheat quick bread creations:
- Whole Wheat Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins
- Zesty Lemon Zucchini Muffins
- Carrot Cake Muffins (vegan & whole wheat)
- Almond Butter Banana Breakfast Bars (vegan)
- Figgy Apricot Spelt Bread (vegan)
- Fresh Cranberry and Walnut Pumpkin Bread
- Blueberry Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Bread
- Peanut Butter Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Muffins (or Bread) of Deliciousness
- Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins
- Sweet Potato Banana Oat Muffins
- Sweet Potato Cranberry Coconut Muffins
This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze.