Vegan Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread on a wooden chopping board 

Irish Soda Bread on a wooden chopping board

Written by McDonald, T.  |  Updated 21st of August 2023.

Why not try this traditional Irish bread for St Patrick's Day? Soda bread gets its name from the bicarbonate of soda, which is used instead of yeast. This bread is great on its own, with some jam or just with some butter. St Patrick's Day is on the 17th of March this year (2022). 


  • It is possible to use water with just a little vegan milk: 300ml of water and 50ml of vegan milk.  You can also use 200ml of vegan milk with 150ml of water.  The idea of the vegan buttermilk is to create something acid to react with the baking soda.  Furthermore, it is possible to use just water, but you will still need the vinegar.

  • Yes, you can add seeds and some nuts or fruit such as sultanas if you want. I often use mixed seeds or sunflower and hemp seeds.

  • Use a good quality baking try because a cheap one will likely buckle in the oven, changing the shape of the bread.

  • The bread is at 70% hydration

500g of flour x 0.70 = 350ml

Preparation time of vegan buttermilk: 30 minutes at least

Preparation time:  10 – 15 minutes

Cook time: 40 – 45 minutes  

Total time: 1:30 hour

 6 – 8 servings. 


  • 350ml vegan milk
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 250g plain white flour
  • 250g strong wholemeal bread flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Baking try
  • Wooden spoon
  • Dough scraper
  • Mixing bowl
  • Scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Measuring spoons



  1. Prepare the buttermilk.  Pour the vegan milk into a jug and stir in the vinegar.  Cover and leave for 30 minutes.  Don't miss this step out because the bicarbonate of soda requires the acidity to react with so the bread will rise.

  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

  3. Put the white and wholemeal flours, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and stir with a whisk. (If you are adding seeds, this is the time to do it.  Mix them in.)

  4. Pour the prepared buttermilk into the bowl and stir to make a slightly sticky dough.

  5. Tip the dough onto a board and shape or straight onto a greased baking tray and sprinkle a little flour on top and use your hands to mould it into a ball-ish shape.

  6. Bake for 40–45 minutes at 200C.

  7. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Irish vegan Soda Bread dough dusted in flour on a wooden chopping board

Irish vegan Soda Bread dough shaped ballish and on a wooden chopping board
Shape so it looks ball-ish.

Irish vegan Soda Bread dough with a cross cut in on a metel baking sheet
Cut a cross into the top to make it more traditional.


The aroma coming from the oven is amazing!  It took a good hour before it cooled enough to slice, but when it did cool, it sliced beautifully and tasted fantastic!  The bread has a great texture and is chewy.  I had some with butter and jam and had some on its own.  It kept well wrapped in a tea-towel in the fridge for a few days. 

Irish vegan Soda Bread on a wire cooling rack
Fresh from the oven.

This one has seeds and berries in

Slices of soda bread

Slice and eat

I hope you decide to give this a try.  If you do, please let me know what you thought in the comments or on Twitter.  Please like, share with your friends and subscribe.  


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