This easy vegan soda bread is yeast-free and only 5 ingredients! It's also healthy, made with whole wheat flour, no added sugar, and has 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per slice! Enjoy this hearty vegan bread recipe all year round!
Why this is the best vegan soda bread recipe
I love soda bread—it's thick, crusty, and filling! The only downside is that traditional Irish soda bread is not vegan.
Typically it's made with buttermilk, eggs and butter. Luckily there are several ways to replicate the bread in a vegan-friendly way.
This recipe has very easy replacements to make this soda bread vegan that I'm willing to bet you already have them on hand!
Along with the easy to find ingredients, this soda bread recipe is easy to make—requiring just 10 minutes to prepare it!
It has the best texture and flavor too. Thick, crusty and so delicious! The whole wheat flavor really takes it up a notch. Bonus: it's also healthier!
How to make soda bread vegan
There are a few substitutions we have to use to make vegan soda bread. First, let's tackle how to make soda bread without buttermilk.
Buttermilk is fermented milk which is acidic. This reacts with the baking soda (hence the name soda bread) to leaven the bread. To get the same reaction we can use apple cider vinegar. Simply mix apple cider vinegar into some non-dairy milk, allow it to curdle for 10 minutes, and voila! We have vegan buttermilk now!
Next, we need to replace the eggs. Let me share a little secret—eggs aren't really necessary in this bread! Soda bread is flat and more dense than most types of bread so you can omit eggs completely without a replacement.
However, if you're so inclined, any vegetable oil will work. About ¼ cup per egg (find more egg replacement ideas here). I typically like to cook oil free so I left it out. The soda bread still has great texture without it!
Now to replace butter, you can simply use a vegan butter. There are so many options out there now but I personally love this one made with flax oil. I'll let you in on another secret—you don't really need butter for this recipe either!
Butter and oil can help with a crispier crust, higher rise, and shelf life, but this bread is usually flatter and can still get sufficiently crispy without it. As for shelf life, this bread is so good I doubt you'll worry about finishing it before it goes stale!
Soda bread is already easy but this may be the simplest and easiest vegan soda bread recipe ever. Just 5 ingredients required! Reference the recipe card at the bottom for exact measurements.
- White whole wheat flour—to make it heartier and healthier. Make sure it's white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour as regular whole wheat flour will be too bitter
- Baking soda—for rising and because soda bread wouldn't be soda bread without it!
- Apple cider vinegar—to make our vegan buttermilk
- Almond milk—any non-dairy milk will do!
Step by step instructions
Start by preheating your oven to 400°F (205°C). This bread comes together quickly and should be placed in the oven as soon as it's ready so having the oven preheated is a must.
1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and apple cider vinegar to create the vegan buttermilk. Set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.
3. Meanwhile, in large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
Make a well in the center and pour the vegan buttermilk in when ready.
4. Stir the dough with a spatula or large spoon at first until it comes together, then use your hands to knead the dough, adding more flour if needed to form a ball.
Don't knead for more than a couple minutes. Dough will be sticky, to prevent it from sticking to your hands, wet your hands first.
5. Place the dough ball on the prepared tray and flatten with palm of hand. Using a bread knife, cut a cross (about 1cm deep) on top of the bread and sprinkle/pat some extra flour on top of the bread.
Don't worry about making the bread too round/smooth/pretty. It's supposed to be rustic looking.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the outside becomes golden. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
- Use a scale to measure out ingredients. It's more accurate than measuring cups.
- Use fresh baking soda—baking soda can lose its potency over time. If it's been open for over 6 months it may not leaven as well. You can test its freshness by adding a little to a bowl along with some vinegar. If it bubbles and fizzes, it's still good to use.
- Make sure to use white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour as regular whole wheat flour will be too bitter for this vegan soda bread.
These add-in's aren't traditional but they add some extra texture and flavor to this vegan soda bread:
- Add ½ cup of raisins
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar for a sweeter bread
- Add ½ cup of chopped nuts
- Add some rolled oats on top—brush some water on top before baking and sprinkle on some oats
What to serve with soda bread
Toast it up and slather with some vegan butter or dip it into your favorite soup or stew. I love it with this Irish Vegetable Stew or this cozy Navy Bean Soup. It's a great side to have with any warm and comforting meal.
And you of course can make sandwiches with it like another Irish classic—the Reuben!
The nutritional value varies depending on the recipe. This dairy-free, egg-free version is healthier by providing more fiber, protein and nutrients with the use of whole wheat flour. Use whole wheat or whole grain flours when possible rather than white/all-purpose flours as they provide little nutritional benefit.
The difference is from how the two types of bread rise. Soda bread uses baking soda and an acid to leaven while sour dough varieties use yeast and fermentation.
More Vegan Irish-inspired recipes
For more plant-based eats check out the Health My Lifestyle Meal Planner. It makes plant-based eating effortless with easy recipes and simple customizable meal plans designed for busy people! Try for free!
Easy Vegan Soda Bread (5 Ingredients!)
- 1 ¾ cups unsweetened plain almond milk
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and apple cider vinegar to create the buttermilk. Set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 ¾ cups unsweetened plain almond milk
- Meanwhile, in large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.4 cups white whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Make a well in the center and pour the vegan buttermilk in when ready.
- Stir the dough with a spatula or large spoon at first until it comes together, then use your hands to knead the dough, adding more flour if needed to form a ball. Don't knead for more than a couple minutes. Dough will be sticky, to prevent it from sticking to your hands, wet your hands first.
- Place the dough ball on the prepared tray and flatten with palm of hand. Using a bread knife, cut a cross (about 1cm deep) on top of the bread and sprinkle/pat some extra flour on top of the bread if desired.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the outside becomes golden. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.