This Irish soda bread recipe is so simple to make that it’s my three year old’s signature bake! It honestly could not be easier. My eldest was taught the recipe by my mum and its one of their favourite things to cook, it also makes the house smell amazing! We love to enjoy this with homemade vegetable soup, jam or plain with a smear of plant based margarine.
300g plain wholemeal flour
150g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
50g plant based margarine
350ml plant based milk
Juice of 1 lemon
Measuring jug, juicer, baking sheet, large bowl, sieve, butter knife, wooden spoon
- Pour the plant based milk into a measuring jug. Juice a lemon and add to the plant based milk, stir. Leave to sit while preparing the rest of the recipe. This step is creating a plant based “buttermilk”, make sure to leave it to curdle while you get on with everything else.
- Preheat oven to 200C. Flour a baking sheet
- Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl
- Rub in the butter
- Using a butter knife, mix to a soft dough with the plant based milk and lemon juice mixture. Sometimes, when using wholemeal flour, you may need more liquid than is stated. You are looking for a mixture that is soft but not too sticky to handle.
- With floured hands, bring together into a rough ball.
- Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and, with minimum handling, shape into a round loaf, not making it look too smooth
- Using the floured handle of a wooden spoon, make a deep cross into the loaf, pressing down quite firmly, almost dividing into four sections
- Sprinkle the top with some flour and a handful of oats
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until brown and hollow sounding when tapped at the bottom
- Cool on a wire rack
Depending on your preference, you could play around with the ratios of wholemeal to plain flour, or use other flours like rye or spelt.
The important nutrition bit!
In my house you’ll only find brown bread, it’s all my girls know. Apart from when I make fresh white loaves in our bread maker or make my favourite party finger food, pinwheels. Whole-wheat fibre is so important for us to eat because it has lots of B vitamins and antioxidants, which are essential for protecting out cells from damage. Brown flour is also higher in fibre, which helps clean out our digestive systems. It also attaches onto cholesterol and helps it leave our body too! This is so important to help reduce our risk of heart attacks and strokes. I was surprised to learn about diagnosis that my risk of heart attack is now higher, even more concerning when I have a strong family history of heart disease!
It’s so important to include the oats in this recipe because they lower blood sugar and provide further antioxidants to tackle free radicals in our body. As with whole-wheat bread, they also help maintain a healthy gut and maintain a good, steady weight. With RA, it is vital we stay at a healthy weight to relieve unnecessary pressure on our body and joints. Excess weight can also contribute to inflammation. Additionally, oats are also filling which contributes to good weight control.
I love plant based milk. I love the different varieties that are available and their ability to enhance the flavour of a drink, coconut milk hot chocolate I’m looking at you! Plant based milks are generally lower in fat and have minimal cholesterol in them, both of which help maintain a healthy weight and avoiding additional health complications.