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It is true that I only think about making Irish Soda Bread once a year – right around St. Patrick’s Day. And now that I am FODMAPing, that wasn’t going to stop me and it shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying a hunk of this super easy, incredibly satisfying quick bread.
Quick Breads Are…Quick
The term “quick” bread is used to describe such things as banana bread, zucchini bread and loaves like this Irish Soda Bread. It means they are raised with baking powder or baking soda and do not need yeast – and get into the oven (and into our mouths) quite quickly. You can read our sister-site’s entry on the definition in the Bakepedia Encyclopedia for more info.
Irish soda bread is very hearty. Many traditional recipes use flour, buttermilk, baking soda and salt – and often nothing else. No eggs, no raisins, not even added fat! Obviously that kind of loaf is very rustic, and that approach has its place, but I prefer a loaf that retains some density while offering some richness from butter. Egg really helps the texture when gluten-free flours are used. Actually, these kinds of soda breads with raisins and sugar added are referred to as Spotted Dog in Ireland. Spotted Dick is a steamed pudding that features raisins (the “spots”) and this bread probably got its name due to the popularity of that dessert. Darina Allen, my go-to for anything involving Irish food, recalls memories of eating it as a child, warm and slathered with rich butter. My apologies to purists for my titling.
Buttermilk is used in the traditional recipe and we make our own soured milk by combining lactose-free whole milk and lemon juice.
I like this loaf for breakfast with a schmear of peanut butter or jam or alongside a bowl of soup. It is best eaten the day it is made, so plan accordingly. You could leave the caraway seeds out, but I love the savory aspect they add juxtaposed to the sweet, chewy raisins. Caraway seeds are Green Light low FODMAP at 2 teaspoons (10 g).
Low FODMAP Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread
Our Low FODMAP Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread is very easy to make. It has no added fat, making it a very lean bread that is best enjoyed the day it is made.
Makes 12 servings
- 1 3/4 cups (420 ml) lactose-free whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 1/4 cups (471 g) low FODMAP gluten-free flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (83 g) raisins
- 1 large egg, at room temperature, well beaten
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- Combine the milk and lemon juice and allow to sit for 5 minutes until thickened.
- Whisk together the flour, caraway seeds, sugar, baking soda and salt to aerate and combine in a mixing bowl. Toss in the raisins. Stir in the egg with a large silicone spatula then start dribbling in the soured milk. You will most likely need somewhere between 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) and the full amount. Only add enough to create a shaggy dough. It will not come together in the bowl but if you pinch a bit of it, it should hold together and you will be able to better assess the moisture level.
- Turn the shaggy dough out onto a piece of parchment paper (for easy cleanup) and gather together into a neat ball. Place on prepared pan and press into a 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) thick disc, about 6-inches (15 cm) across. Use a serrated bladed knife to slash the loaf in a deep crisscross on top of the loaf, extending to the edges.
- Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes or until the loaf is lightly browned and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom. Cool pan on rack for 5 minutes, then transfer loaf directly to rack to cool further. Irish soda bread can be served warm or at room temperature and is best served the day it is made.