Classic Soda Bread Made Vegan and Gluten-Free!

[Classic soda bread is vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut-free and yeast-free. Suitable for Stage 2 and beyond on an anti-candida diet.]

candida diet, vegan, gluten-free soda bread recipe

When I was a kid, it wasn’t unusual for my sisters and me to come home after school to find three or four different homemade baked goods lined up on our counter. There might be the remains of yesterday’s Dutch apple cake sitting in a rectangular pan, juices oozing from the cinnamony apple slices layered with rich vanilla batter; a rustic “farmer’s cheesecake” with its burnished criss-cross topping, a thin sliver missing along the side where my mom tasted it; a half-empty tin of fragrant, chewy chocolate chip cookies; remnants of a log of “roly poly,” my mother’s favorite homemade pastry, stuffed with strawberry jam and bits of Turkish delight; or a quick-mix coffee cake adorned with chopped walnuts and a cinnamon-sugar sprinkle. At holiday time, there were even more goodies available, from frozen nut cookies to Mexican wedding cookies to “Surprise Crackles,” fudge, shortbreads and more.

Is it any wonder my sisters and I all grew up with weight issues?

gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan soda bread recipe

Although she was a stellar baker, my studiously mom avoided entire categories of baked goods. Her personal cookbook would have omitted  chapters on “Pies and Tarts” as well as “Yeasted Breads,” and those were two types of foodstuff that we never found on the counter. (Well, I lie. She did make a confection called Chocolate Surprise Pie, or something like that–a brownie baked into a regular pie crust. For that, she bought a prepared pie crust and poured the chocolate batter into it before baking).

Once I moved out on my own, I was determined to give yeast bread a try. And try I did. Unfortunately, when it came to my skills with yeast-based baked goods, I seemed doomed to repeat the failures of my mother.

I’ve had exactly one success with yeast bread, when I first met the HH and was keen to impress him with my baking prowess. I managed one loaf that, magically, turned out light and fluffy, with a perfect pillowy texture to showcase a thick smear of butter.

The HH arrived home from work one evening to a house brimming with the aroma of fresh-baked bread, and he demolished the loaf in less than 24 hours. I tried again the following week, to no avail; the yeast gods had abandoned me (or, at least, when it came to baked goods, they did; sadly, they found me again eventually, only this time in the mutated form of candida).

candida diet, gluten-free, sugar-free soda bread recipe on rickiheller.com

[Here slathered with my homemade “My Life in Balance Buttery Spread.” A perfect accompaniment for the bread!]

But non-yeast breads? I’ve never met a fruit loaf, a zucchini bread, a baking powder-based Cinnamon Bun, a beer bread or a soda bread that I couldn’t master. (And I’m sure I’ve got my mom to thank for that, too).

Since the holidays are (too) fast approaching, and since I’ve already shared a bread-free stuffing recipe last week, I thought it only fair to present this fabulous gluten-free soda bread for those of you who prefer your stuffing bread-based. Bake up a loaf, cut into chunks, and there’s your stuffing base. Or, if you’re like the HH and me, just eat this with a smear of (homemade, vegan) butter instead.

soda bread recipe on rickiheller.com

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Comments

  1. Can I use almond flour instead of the ones you have listed?

    • I don’t know, Cyndy. I’ve made breads with almond flour, but this is a grain-based bread. It might work, but even if it did, the taste and texture would be totally different from soda bread. It could very well taste good. . . just not soda bread. 😉

  2. Wow, this looks dynamite! You are a kitchen magician, Ricki!

  3. My mother did lots of baking too – and still does – that is where I learnt to bake. But I feel that I am lucky to actually remember a time when her baking wasn’t as stellar as it is today and to know that making recipes over and over does help to master them – in fact I remember some terrible bread she made when first using yeast – now her bread is wonderful. And while I love yeasted baking I also love soda bread and other non yeast breads. Sorghum flour is becoming more available here so I would love to try this – it looks lovely – and I am sure your mum would be impressed at your baking!

    • I never thought of it that way, Johanna–I much prefer the “practise makes perfect” view of bread baking! Glad you’ll be able to try the sorghum. I like it as a wheat alternative, since it tastes so much like wheat in the final product. Another fave is millet flour, also very similar. 🙂

  4. Hi Ricki, I just very recently found your site, and I’m looking forward to browsing around. 🙂 Our family has always been into clean eating, but I’m pretty new to being gluten-free. In fact I was just lamenting over not being able to have dressing for Thanksgiving, so I’m so glad to have stumbled upon your post! Being a newbie at cooking gluten-free, I was wondering what psyllium husks do for or add to the recipe? (hope that’s not a dumb question)

    • Hi Mary, Welcome to the blog (and to gluten-free living!). 🙂 And totally NOT a dumb question! I’ve just started working with psyllium myself over the past year or so. And yes, it acts as a binder to replace gluten in baked goods. The traditional binder is some kind of gum (xanthan gum or guar gum), but some people don’t like the gums, and psyllium has become more popular over the recent years. It’s a tasteless kind of fiber (it’s actually the same ingredient that Metamucil is made of!), and it thickens/becomes gel-like when water is added. I love how it works in baked goods (and the extra fiber’s not too bad, either). Hope that helps!

      • I have to laugh. Being herby-minded I knew what psyllium was and what it did for the body and so couldn’t for the life of me figure out how it worked into a bread recipe. Lol. But i get it now! Makes perfect sense. I can see where it would be healthier than gums. Thanks, Ricki!

  5. What flour with like properties can I substitute for the Sorghum flour ? I am sensitive to Sorghum but would really love to try this 🙂 Looks sooo good!!!
    Trina

    • Trina, the only flour I can think of that might be similar is millet flour. They’re both mild with a neutral flavor. I haven’t tried it with millet, though, so can’t guarantee that it would work. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

  6. Rickie,
    What can I use to replace the psyllium husks? Thank You. Carole

    • Carole, you could try ground chia, but I’ve found that the texture isn’t the same. It may be a bit gummy or too chewy. . . that’s why I use the psyllium, because the result is just right. Let me know how it turns out if you do give it a try! 🙂

  7. Could anyone suggest a swap for psyllium husks? I don’t digest them well, but would love to make this bread! Thanks! 🙂

  8. I’m on a candida diet can I eat this bread safely ?

  9. This looks delicious!!! I need to make a Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s day so I may just have to give yours a try!!! I too love the taste of the sorghum flour for this kind of bread as well as the texture of the psyllium in baked goods. I am confused about the amount of sorghum flour for this recipe though. My one cup of it usually measures around 140 grams not 240. Should I go by weight or amount?

    Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • Sarah–the sorghum flour here is measured by volume (240 ml, not 240 g). Because flours can be different, I used volume so that people could use their own flour in this case. I know that weight is more accurate as a rule–will add the weight asap!

  10. Lynne Johnson says:

    Can I substitute rice flour with something else please as I can’t tolerate rice.

  11. Lynne, in this case, the sweet rice flour operates much like a starch. I’d try either cornstarch, arrowroot starch or tapioca starch. I can’t guarantee it will work as I’ve never tried it, but they are all similar. If you try it, come back and let me know how it turns out! 🙂

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