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Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     St. Patrick’s Day was approaching.  I knew that all the stores would have baked loaves in pretty cellophane wrappers decorated with shamrocks.  My experience has proven that when I see something and I want a taste there are no gluten free items to be bought.  So I just have to make it myself or do without.
     I looked at many regular flour recipes for Irish Soda Bread.  The Martha Stewart one looked the best to me, so I converted it into a GF version.  The bread came out very tasty and moist.  From what I remember Irish Soda Bread can be a bit dry, but nothing that a slathering with butter couldn’t fix.  This loaf can be eaten without butter, but butter makes it even better.  Actually, I made the loaf itself dairy free as I planned to bring it to a friend’s house where many guests would be unable to eat dairy products.
     This recipe uses half the amount of caraway seeds and raisins that the original recipe called for.  You can adjust these to suit your taste.  I used more tapioca and sweet rice flours than sorghum and in my next batch I will try using equal parts of each of these flours plus a half-cup of chickpea flour, to possibly give the bread a lighter texture.
    The bread stayed well for a three days, but it was better lightly toasted after the first day.


4 cups
Gluten Free Flours – I used 1 ½ cups tapioca flour, 1 ½ cups sweet rice flour, ½ cup sorghum flour and ½ cup chickpea flour.
¼ cup
¾ tsp.
Xantan Gum
1 Tbs.
Baking Powder
1 tsp.
1 Tbs.
Sea Salt
Caraway Seeds
4 Tbs.
Butter or Non-hydrogenated Margarine
1 cup
1 large
1 ½ cups
Buttermilk or (for Dairy-Free) Non-dairy milk with a Tbs. of Vinegar added and allowed to rest for 10 minutes.
1 ½ tsp.
Baking Soda
Egg Yolk for brushing on the loaf before baking.
1 Tbs.
Cream or (for Dairy-Free) Non-dairy milk to mix with the egg yolk to brush on the loaf before baking.

     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
     In a large bowl add the flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, xanthan gum and caraway seeds and mix well.
     Cut in the butter or margarine with a pastry cutter or put the flour mixture in the bowl of a food processor, add the butter or margarine and run the processor.  When done the butter or margarine should resemble coarse crumbs with some larger clumps remaining.
Butter or margarine cut into the flour mixture -
this was done in the food processor. 
     Add the raisins and fold in with a large rubber spatula.
     In the large bowl make a well in the center of the flour mixture. 
     In a separate bowl mix the buttermilk or non-dairy milk and vinegar mixture, egg and baking soda and mix well.
     Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, fold it in until all the flour is incorporated and the dough just comes together.
Finished dough.
     Place the ball of dough on the parchment paper.  With wet hands form the loaf into a round domed loaf about 8-inches in diameter. 
Dough formed into a loaf with a cross cut on the top.
     Cut a cross about ¾-inch deep across the center of the top of the loaf.
     In a small bowl mix the egg yolk and cream or non-dairy milk.  Brush the egg yolk mixture over the top of the loaf.
Loaf brushed with egg wash.
     Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
     Transfer the loaf to a rack to cool completely and to prevent the bottom from getting soggy.
Irish Soda Bread with butter.  
     The gluten free loaf is moister than one made with regular flours.  The bread is best eaten the same day, but it can be kept wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container for 3 days. After the first day the bread will taste better if lightly toasted or warmed before eating.
Close up of a slice of Irish Soda Bread.

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