As a Norwegian, I’m a huge fan of bread, and love experimenting with different dough recipes. Although bread recipes are often similar, I love seeing how other cultures have different spins on their versions.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up soon, I made a bunch of different Irish inspired recipes the other day while I was snapping for a Norwegian Snapchat account, Vegansnappen, and one of the dishes I was happiest with was the soda bread. If you love colorful food, this post is for you!
What I like about the bread is it’s a simple recipe made with ingredients that are readily available in the country where the dish is from. I’m a huge fan of cooking seasonally and with local ingredients as much as possible. Same goes for when I do my pairings; I love the saying “what grows together goes together” – it can bring an authentic feeling to the whole experience of enjoying a meal, while sipping and biting into what you’ve made.
Traditional soda bread is made with buttermilk, eggs, and butter, but here I use dairy-free butter and milk to make a vegan (and totally delicious) version.
- 200 grams (about 1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 200 grams (about 1 1/2 cups) whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp granulated organic sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 1 tbsp vegan butter (optional)
- 1 cup (2.5 dl) nondairy milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 packed cups (about 125g) spinach
- Sunflower seeds, rolled oats for topping
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit / 210 degrees Celsius. Prepare a sheet tray with either parchment paper or line with a silpat.
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, and if using the butter, knead the butter into the dry ingredients with your hands. Set aside.
- Add the non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar and spinach in the bowl of a blender, and puree until smooth. Reserve 1 tbsp of the liquid for brushing the top of the loaves, and add the rest to the dry ingredients. Combine with a wooden spoon, and shape into a loaf with your hands.
- Divide the loaf into 3 smaller loaves about 12-15 cm (6 inches) in length. Place them on the prepared tray. Using a sharp knife, cut an “X” into each loaf, brush them lightly with the remaining spinach-milk mixture and sprinkle seeds/oats on top if you want.
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until bottoms have a ‘hollow’ sound when knocking on them with your knuckles. Remove from oven and cool on rack while you make the soup!
But back to my soda bread: This is such a simple, quick, and different way of making bread, in that the dough requires baking soda instead of yeast, which helps give it volume. This will give it a different texture and look but flavorful and satisfying nonetheless – you can never go wrong with bread. This recipe is perfect even if you’ve never made a loaf of bread before.
I decided to add a little baking powder as well to lighten the dough and texture a bit and a touch of sugar to bring the other flavors out, but you don’t need to. More importantly though, I wanted to bring an extra touch of “Ireland” to the bread and make the dough green, and I did so using spinach. No artificial food coloring or weird powders needed – use what mother earth grows naturally, it really is so rewarding!
Go ahead – dive into the recipe and embrace your inner Irish!
This recipe was republished with permission from Sunny Gandara.