Cranberry Irish Soda Bread

I used to buy Irish Soda Bread at Whole Foods all the time when they had it out.  It was fantastic! It was also the first time I had tasted it before.  Irish Soda Bread wasn’t something I grew up with nor heard of until I saw it at Whole Foods.  I guess I just didn’t run around in circles where it was mentioned.

At some point I think Whole Foods might have changed their recipe because I don’t care for their version anymore.  Something about it just tastes off and I can’t quite put my finger on it.  I never really thought about soda bread again after that until I came across Happy Herbivore’s recipe for Irish Soda Bread.

It was her recipe where I learned that one could curdle non-dairy milk with a little bit of acid, either lemon juice or apple-cider vinegar.  Did you know that?  I didn’t so I was excited to learn something new!

Why curdle non-dairy milk? Because traditional soda bread calls for buttermilk but if you are looking to keep things vegan you need an alternative.  I remembered from my smoothie making that cranberry juice will also cause soymilk to curdle, although you need equal parts of cranberry juice and soymilk.  I decided to run with that concept and make my own version of Irish Soda Bread.

Andrea’s Cranberry Irish Soda Bread

  • 3C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1C Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1C Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
  • 1C Soymilk
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1C Dried Cranberries
  • 2TBSP Organic Cane Sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  In a small mixing bowl, combine cranberry juice and soymilk, set aside for about five minutes.  The soymilk will start to curdle and separate.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all the other ingredients and whisk together.    Slowly add in the liquid mixture and stilr until everything is combined.  The dough will be sticky but will come together to form a heavy dough.  If needed, a splash more soymilk will help the dough form if there is still some flour not incorporated.

Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and kneed the dough for about a minute.  Dough will still be sticky.  Form into a large round loaf and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  You can make a large X across the top of the dough with a knife to create the look of four sections.

Bake for about 40 minutes (could be longer) or until the bread has set.  A toothpick should come out clean.  Allow to cool before slicing.

I expected the bread to be tasty but didn’t quite expect it to be amazing, which it is.  Both of us love this bread!  It has just the right amount of sweetness to it that makes you want to keep eating and eating.  I used cranberries because I like them over raisins in baked goods.  Plus they have a great color which leads well to presentation.  Raisins don’t have a lot going for them in the aesthetic department.

The Irish Soda Bread that I’ve had before had been really dry.  This bread is not.  It is not a super moist bread like a quick bread but it is not dry like a biscuit.  It holds together well and has a nice soft chewy bite to it.

It’s great at room temperature and also slightly toasted.  Goes well with coffee and a nice accompaniment with yogurt and granola.  I sliced mine up and froze the slices for easy access when the mood strikes.

Now that I have the method of curdling soymilk under my belt, who knows what else is in store!

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food!  Enjoy!

9 thoughts on “Cranberry Irish Soda Bread

  1. As an Irish person, I am in love with the idea of this bread. Now if I could just reach through my computer screen and sample it! I love dried cranberries! love! I’ve just never been a raisin fan. I would love that it wasn’t dry, biscuits have their place but I like my bread to be soft and delish.

  2. My mom couldn’t bake from scratch to save her life but my Aunt Marie would always send soda bread at St Paddy’s day. Your recipe sounds awesome.

  3. when i was first outa college i worked as a waitress at an irish pub. i ate so much irish soda bread (it was “free”) that summer i haven’t touched it since. i bet i’d love it today, though – it has been over a decade….

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