Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, this Green Irish Soda Bread is vegan, has no added fat, and features a festive, natural green color!
I’m not Irish, nor do I claim to be an expert on the cuisine of the Emerald Isle, but from what I’ve researched regarding soda bread is that, according to most Irish cooks, simpler is better. I’ve learned that it can be made with white or whole wheat flour, but it rarely contains added fats, and never includes eggs, sugar, or raisins.
I remember first tasting Irish soda bread when I was in elementary school. Whenever March rolled around, my teachers would often bring some in for the students as a fun treat to nibble on. Those breads usually fell under one of two types: undercooked and bland or sugary sweet. I tend to prefer a savory bread, so I’ve skipped the sugar and used as few ingredients as possible to create this bread in the traditional manner.
Well, except for the spinach…
That’s definitely not traditional. But I just couldn’t resist making a whimsically green-hued soda bread!
This bread has a different, heartier taste and texture compared to conventional yeast bread. It derives it’s name from the fact that it is leavened with bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda), unlike yeasted doughs. Traditional Irish recipes rely solely on baking soda but I feel that the addition of some baking powder provides more lift and improves the texture. Enjoy this soda bread at your St. Patty’s party with vegan butter or cream cheese, preserves, or even dipped in olive oil and herbs. Homemade vegan almond cheese is also a great pairing.
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup nondairy milk
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 125g fresh spinach (about two cups, packed)
- rolled oats, sunflower seeds, or caraway seeds for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a blender, combine nondairy milk, vinegar, and spinach leaves and blend until completely smooth. Pour all but about 1 Tablespoon of the spinach and milk mix into the flour. Using a spatula or spoon stir into the flour just until combined.
- Divide the dough into three to make small, 6-inch loaves. Toss some extra flour onto your balls of dough and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten them just slightly so that they bakes evenly and slash an "X" into the tops with a knife. Don't go too deep, just a surface slash. If you are sprinkling anything on top, use that remaining Tablespoon of spinach/milk mixture to brush on the loaves before sprinkling the toppings.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the bottoms are slightly browned and the tops feel crusty.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Be sure to throw a clean dish towel over them and let them cool down under it. This will ensure that the loaves stay tender. Enjoy them with vegan butter, preserves, or olive oil.
-Because this bread lacks any added fats, it is best to serve it on the day you make it.
-Rolled oats, sunflower seeds, and caraway seeds all make fine toppings to sprinkle on this bread before baking.
-If you aren't crazy about the spinach, you can definitely skip it. Just add another ¼ cup of nondairy milk in it's place.