Bread, freshly baked, straight from the oven has to be one of life’s top pleasures. I love kneading fresh dough, the slow process of its rise and the simplicity of baking my own bread. Sometimes, however, I want a fresh loaf in a hurry and that where this easy recipe for vegan soda bread comes in! There is no need to knead and no waiting for hours for the yeast to do its thing. I am physically incapable of eating soup without a hunk of bread to dunk in it and, if I don’t have anything suitable to hand, soda bread can be ready in 40 minutes from flour bag to table – perfect when a soupy mood comes upon me! Herbed bread is just divine and I urge you to add some seasonal herbs to your mix – here I’ve used parsley, thyme and chives but you can use your favourite flavour combination or whatever you have to hand.
I paired my soda bread with my really tasty lettuce soup (recipe to follow very soon) for a lovely summery treat but you can try different herbs, seeds and spices in your bread to complement your soup!
You might like to try:
- Caraway seeds and chilli flakes with Beetroot Soup
- Parsley and chopped garlic with Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup
- Celery seeds and mustard powder with Celeriac Soup
- Paprika and fresh thyme with Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
How to Make Vegan Soda Bread
I’ve been making and baking soda bread for many years but my technique was vastly improved when I attended a master class with Irish chef Rachel Allen a few years ago and made a soda version of Rosemary Focaccia Bread. Rachel gave me three top tips for making the best Irish soda bread I ever did taste!
- Mix your soda bread by hand, with your hand, not a spoon!
- Hold your hand like a claw, keeping it stiff, and to mix the dough as if you are a food mixer going backwards and forwards rather than stirring and gathering.
- Don’t add to much flour, throw your dough into the oven as sticky as can be for a lighter, less dense loaf.
Traditional Irish soda bread uses the reaction between bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk or soured milk to get the rise you would normally get with a yeasted bread. Vegan soda bread uses a combination of plant based milk and yoghurt with bicarb or baking powder to achieve the same result. A top tip for you if you don’t like the taste of bicarbonate of soda is to replace it with baking powder – that little nugget of advice came from top chef Lydia at the fabulous Demuths Cookery School in Bath.
Look at that texture and rise – fabulous! The smell of this baking with all its doughy goodness along with the deliciousness of thyme, parsley and chives is good enough to draw even the sleepiest of teenagers out of bed!
My eldest is now 23 and is heading off to work in Japan at the beginning of August for at least a year and probably two. You can imagine what an effect this is having on my heart!
He spent 5 months studying in Tokyo as part of his degree and one of the things he missed when he was there was homemade bread so this recipe is for him, a simple soda bread which needs no yeast, no kneading and is ready to eat in 40 minutes.
Simple Soda Bread with Herbs
A super easy vegan soda bread recipe packed full of seeds, parsley, thyme and chives, ready in 40 minutes!
- 200 g (1? cup) wholemeal flour
- 250 g (2 cups + 2 tbsps) plain white flour
- 1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used parsley, thyme and chives)
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 300 mls (1¼ cups) soya milk
- 100 mls (½ cup) soya yoghurt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 220C/428F
Mix together the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl
Add the finely chopped herbs, black pepper and sunflower seeds and stir to combine
Whisk together the milk and yoghurt
Make a well in the middle of your flour mixture and pour in the milk and yoghurt mixture
Mix together with your hands until you have a rough dough
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and mould into two round loves
Place your loaves onto a lightly oiled baking tray and slash a deep cross through them
Brush lightly with a little olive oil and place in the preheated oven for 20 - 30 minutes until risen and brown - check its bottom, it too should be nice and golden!
This nutritional information is only an approximate guideline, created using an online calculator. Calculations will vary according to the ingredients you use and your cooking methods.
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