Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

A Tale of Two Irish Soda Breads (GF and AP Flour versions)


“Challenge Accepted!” was my answer when my mom asked me to bring a GF version of my semi-famous Irish Soda Bread to her St. Patrick’s Day Themed Sunday Dinner last night.


If you have not had the pleasure of being introduced to Irish Soda Bread, then you are a little bit deprived. It reminds me of a giant scone; a little bit crumbly, a little bit sweet, and if it’s done just right then it is still moist and tender.

Recreating my tried and true favorites to be GF is fairly nerve racking for me. Although the substitution of my homemade GF flour blend and addition of either Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum has been full proof thus far for any recipe I’ve converted, every time I try a new one, I am found holding my breath and absolutely pinching a bite off the piping hot product the second it is out of the oven.

Well this GF Irish Soda Bread is a total winner. I would never even be able to taste the difference in a blind taste. Think Pepsi and Coke taste tests in the 70’s when amazed victims were choosing Pepsi over Coke. I think this bread taste test would turn out quite positive. The crumb is tender and soft and the flavor is lightly sweet and tart (from the buttermilk) and a burst of plump raisins fills your mouth with delight.

Gluten-Free Version

I have also included an iPhone snap of my original Irish Soda Bread made with All Purpose flour to please GF and non GF eaters alike. Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish Soda Breads Two Ways (GF and All Purpose Flour)

GF Irish Soda Bread
4 c. GF Flour Blend (see GF tab for the recipe for my Gluten Free Flour Blend 1 or feel free to use King Arthur’s GF Flour)
4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 1/4 t. guar gum or xanthan gum
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. of cold butter, cut in small cubes
1 c. buttermilk (can substitute low-fat milk + 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice)
1/2 c. Greek Yogurt, plain
1 egg
1 1/2 c. of raisins or currants (1/2 of both!)

All Purpose Flour Version
4 c.All Purpose Flour
4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. of cold butter, cut in small cubes
1 1/2 c. buttermilk (can substitute low-fat milk + 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice)
1 egg
1 1/2 c. of raisins or currants (1/2 of both!)

To make the bread: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour through salt. Put the small cubes of butter into the bowl and mix WITH YOUR HANDS, crumbling the butter cubes as you mix. This is essential and makes for a very tender crumb with pockets of butter which create air pockets and thus makes your bread light and fluffy rather than dense. Leave your butter pea sized for optimal air pockets.

In a liquid measuring cup, pour in your buttermilk and add the egg. Beat together before adding it to the dry mixture. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients. With the GF version, you can stir vigorously, making sure to adequately dissipate the flour. If you are making the AP flour version DO NOT MIX VIGOROUSLY or your bread will be tough. Simply stir it gently with a rubber scraper. Add the raisins and or currants and stir them in.

Knead your bread ten times, either in the bowl if big enough (keeps mess down) or on a floured pastry board. Form into a round dome and gently take a butter knife and make a vertical and horizontal cut across the top of the bread (only about 1/2 inch into the dough).

Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour depending on your oven. The bread should turn a nice golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean when you prick it in the middle of the bread.

19 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Irish Soda Breads (GF and AP Flour versions)

  1. There is definitely a need for more GF recipes – I make Irish Soda Bread – and it is in much demand by friends who would rather have than dessert! Look forward to more.

    • The more recipes I try to convert, the more I try to post. We all need to learn from each other to make the best tasting GF food. I do like Irish Soda Bread better than many desserts. It is popular here too. Thank you!

  2. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I made your Irish Whiskey Bread Pudding for my blog today (with lots of links back to you, of course!). Everyone at work is raving!

  3. I am sure you enjoyed your celebration with your family with such tasty looking bread on hand.

  4. love your gf version. It looks delicious and so soft and the texture looks perfect!

  5. What a superb bread recipe, both versions look simply lovely 😀
    I want these for breakfast!

    Choc Chip Uru

  6. There are Leprechauns with gluten issues singing your praises, Geni, all over the world. I bet both breads are delicious! I’ve no issues with gluten but know those who do. I’ll certainly be passing your recipe along. Thank you.

  7. I really could eat that whole bread you have pictured, Geni. And how nice to have the GF version, too! Two really great looking recipes. 🙂

  8. Love it ! Thanks for this article 🙂

  9. Great post! Thanks for the side by side pics and recipes!

  10. How lucky are we not one but two recipes. Of course I want to try your gluten free version.

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