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Friday 1 June 2012

Gluten Free: Soda Bread

Without wishing to jinx this sunny weather we've been experiencing the past few weeks, I do believe that summer might actually have arrived! While I hunt for my left flip-flop and make room in the freezer for the ice-cream maker, it seems as if the rest of the country are planning picnics and barbecues. These seemingly innocuous affairs have the ability to strike fear into the heart of the gluten free-er. Outdoor dining means bread; loads of the stuff. Constantly passing on cucumber sandwiches, hamburger rolls, pinwheels and wraps gets kind of tiresome, as does consuming tonnes of potato salad and coleslaw (usually the only 'safe' options).

Gluten free bread can leave much to be desired, especially some of the vacum-packed types. Most require some kind of 'refreshing' in the oven or microwave which is less than convenient at a barbecue and pretty unlikely on a picnic. It also seems to be the item most often sold out in the freefrom section of my supermarket. So, why not make your own?

It's not as difficult as it might first seem. I'm too impatient to prove dough, and without gluten, knocking back and kneading is a bit pointless. This is where soda bread comes in. Instead of using yeast to rise the bread, you use baking soda and you can have freshly baked bread about half-an-hour after the mood strikes you.

Soda Bread

You'll need

  • 250g gluten free bread flour mix (try Doves Farm Organics, or add 1tsp xanthan gum to a plain flour mix)
  • 100g gluten free oats (if you can't tolerate oats, use millet flakes)
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 300ml buttermilk
  • a splash of milk
To make
  • Put the oats (or millet flakes) into a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. Place in a large bowl with the gluten free bread mix, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Whisk together to mix and to remove any lumps of flour.
  • Add the buttermilk and, using your hand, combine into a wet dough. (You'll have to get your hands in there at some point so you might as well save on washing up.)
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place on a greased baking sheet. Brush the top of the dough with a little milk and sprinkle a few oats on top. Make a couple of slashes on the top with a bread knife.
  • Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.

If you don't have buttermilk, you can use sour cream or natural yoghurt instead, use 250ml of either and make up to 300ml with milk to get the right consistency.


  1. Looks gorgeous! I love soda bread and I've had a go at making my own GF version, but yours looks really easy. Love the little sandwiches! I'll definitely have to put it on the list of things to make when my GF sister comes to visit :)

    1. Thanks! It's much easier than attempting yeast-raised GF bread (and quicker, too).


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