Baked to perfection, our Irish soda bread without buttermilk recipe is just the one if you are looking to create a delicious dairy-free Irish soda bread. This hearty recipe leaves nothing out, well, except the dairy, to create an authentic Irish soda bread that easy to whip up and easy to customize with either white or wheat flour. This rustic Irish recipe is definitely a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
Can You Replace Buttermilk with Milk?
No, you cannot directly replace buttermilk for milk in all recipes, whether you're using milk products or plant-based milks. In relation to Irish soda bread, which is yeast-free, the acid in the buttermilk interacts with the baking soda and causes the bread to leaven during the baking process.
The acid is a critical ingredient. If you don't have buttermilk OR you simply want to make a dairy-free soda bread recipe, you must "make" your own buttermilk using either dairy milks or plant-based milks and an acid for the recipe to turn out properly. We'll show you how in the recipe steps!
No Buttermilk Irish Soda Bread
Perfect for soups and stews, our no butter Irish soda bread recipe is always a hit on our kitchen table. We prefer to make it differently, swapping out white and wheat flours or adding in raisins or currants.
Hearty and thick, Irish soda bread without buttermilk is a great addition to any soup or stew you are making. Crusty on the outside but soft on the inside, it's ideal for sopping up broth and gravy. We love to serve our Irish soda bread recipe without buttermilk alongside Instant Pot Guinness beef stew and Irish bangers and mash.
And if you are looking for a gluten-free friendly Irish soda bread recipe, be sure to check out our gluten-free Irish soda bread recipe made with Bob's 1:1 flour.
Why You'll Love This!
- Utilizing baking soda to create a dough that rises, Irish soda bread without buttermilk is a simple bread recipe that doesn't require any complex baking skills.
- Easy and delicious, dairy-free Irish soda bread can be enjoyed all year long.
- Because we are making our Irish soda bread without buttermilk, this recipe is able to comply with both vegan and dairy-free lifestyles without giving up flavor or texture.
- Every day vegan Irish soda bread needs just four basic ingredients - flour, salt, baking soda, and your diary-free buttermilk substitute. However, we are making our Irish soda bread slightly fancier by including sugar and option mix-ins.
- Adapt our recipe with either white or wheat flour and change things up by adding in raisins or currants.
To make Irish soda bread without buttermilk you are going to need flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, either butter or a vegan approved butter substitute, and a non-dairy buttermilk substitute.
- all-purpose flour
- whole wheat flour
- baking soda
- granulated sugar
- butter or vegan butter substitute - cubed. We used Earth Balance buttery spread, we've found this brand in particular tastes the best and has the best flavor for dairy-free baking.
- milk or dairy free milk substitute - soy milk, oat milk, almond milk
- freshly squeezed lemon juice or white or apple cider vinegar
- raisins (optional)
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact quantities **
- Gluten Free - To make a gluten-free Irish soda bread use Bob's Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free flour in place of the white and wheat florus.
- Sugar-Free - To make a sugar-free Irish soda bread simply omit the sugar. However, if you prefer it sweetened and still want sugar-free, opt for either monk fruit or erythritol as a 1:1 swap for the sugar.
Step by Step Instructions
Making your Irish soda bread recipe without buttermilk is a super easy process. We are going to start by combining our dry ingredients, adding in the butter or butter substitute, and then incorporating the buttermilk or dairy-free buttermilk to finish the dough. A quick shaping followed by a bake in the oven and your simple ingredients will be turned into a hearty loaf of authentic vegan Irish soda bread.
Make the buttermilk substitute by combining dairy free milk (for a vegan version) or milk (as a buttermilk swap) with the freshly squeezed lemon juice or vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes to "curdle" and thicken. Plant based milks don't work as well as far as the thickening and curdeling goes, but the process still works and makes a fantastic buttermilk substitute!
Heat the oven to 400 F and make sure the oven rack is in the center position. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper. You can also grease or use parchment on the bottom of a 8-10" cast iron skillet, a cake pan, or use a 5-quart round Dutch oven (without the lid).
In a large mixing bowl combine both flours, salt, baking soda, and sugar until it's well combined.
Add in the cold butter cubes by cutting it in with a pastry cutter or a fork until it resembles pea-sized pieces.
Pour the buttermilk substitute into the flour mixture all at once and stir it with a fork until the liquid is absorbed and the bread dough starts to hold together like a rough biscuit dough. The dough will be wet but if it's too sticky, mix in a tiny bit more flour.
Stir in the raisins if you're using them.
Flour a cutting board and transfer the dough to a cutting board. Using your hands, form the dough into a round dome shape loaf that's about 8-9" in diameter. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet or pan.
With a sharp knife, make a deep ¾" X shape into the loaf.
Bake the Irish soda bread for 45-50 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and a cake tester or wooden skewer comes out clean.
If the bread seems to be browning too fast during cooking, you can add foil over the top.
Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.
Serve warm or cold with a butter substitute or jam. Enjoy!
- You cannot simply swap buttermilk for dairy milk or plant-based milk without first adding an acid. Since soda bread is yeast-free, it rises when the acid (whether it comes from buttermilk, lemon, or vinegar) interacts with the baking soda.
- Simple "every day" soda bread is just 4 ingredients! Flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and salt. Any of the other ingredients can be left out or swapped if you want to make "richer or fancier" soda bread. You call use only all-purpose flour for a white bread and leave out the whole wheat. You can mix in raisins for a sweeter bread, or make the bread richer in flavor by mixing in 1 beaten egg or egg substitute (like chia seed eggs) along with the buttermilk substitute.
- Keep the butter cold until you are ready to incorporate it into the Irish soda bread batter.
- Preheating your oven ensures you bread begins cooking as soon as it enters the oven.
Eggs are entirely optional in soda bread, they do give the bread a denser richer taste but they are not required at all. Simply leave them out of any recipe that uses eggs if you either don't want to add them or don't have them.
In your favorite Irish soda bread recipe, simply swap the all-purpose flour for 1:1 gluten-free flour like Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur. And replace the butter in the recipe for vegan margarine and the buttermilk with a mix of plant-based milk and an acid like fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
You can store soda bread for 2-3 days by tightly wrapping it in plastic wrap. Because there are no preservatives in the soda bread it will get stale quickly, especially when exposed to the air.
More Irish Recipes
Looking for more Irish recipes?
- Instant Pot Guinness beef stew
- Instant Pot calcannon with bacon
- Crockpot cabbage and bacon
- Irish bangers and mash
- Gluten-Free Irish soda bread recipe