Healthy Recipe: Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

Celiac expert Jules Shepard offers a tasty recipe that everyone can enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day.

Jules Shepard’s recipe uses gluten-free flour and beer to create a delicious gluten-free Irish soda bread. Photograph courtesy of Shepard.

Irish soda bread is a must-have on St. Patrick’s Day. But we can’t let gluten-free folks miss out on the dense and delicious treat. Fortunately, Jules Shepard of Jules Speaks Gluten-Free Blog has a tried-and-true recipe that uses gluten-free all-purpose flour, flaxseed meal, and other yummy ingredients. 


3¼ cups of gluten-free flour (Shepard has her own line of gluten-free products, available through her website)
¼ cup flaxseed meal
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon granulated cane sugar
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cardamom
½ cup baking raisins or sultanas (or boil raisins in water, drain, and use)
2 tablespoons dark (blackstrap) molasses
1 teaspoonapple cider vinegar
1 cup vanilla yogurt (coconut, almond, soy, or dairy)
¾ cup gluten-free beer, ginger ale, club soda, or Perrier (Shepard uses Green’s Tripel Blonde Ale)
Milk of choice to brush on top of dough


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees (static) or 350 (convection).

2) In a large food processor (or if using a mixing bowl, use a pastry cutter or large slotted spoon) mix all the dry ingredients together thoroughly. Add the molasses, apple cider vinegar, and yogurt, stirring together until the dough is raggedy and dry, but mixed. Gradually add the beer and raisins until it holds together in a ball shape.

3) Roll the ball in a light coating of gluten-free flour and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush off any excess flour with a pastry brush, then brush the dough with a thin coating of your favorite milk.

4) Using a sharp knife, make a crisscross cut in the top of the dome, pressing down with the knife approximately ¼ inch without pulling the dough. Rock the knife back and forth slightly to open up the cuts and allow the bread to rise in those directions. Cover the bread with a deep pot that will allow the bread to rise up and out without touching the sides of the pot (this will create a mock Dutch oven) and place in the preheated oven.

5) Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees (static) or 300 (convection) and bake for approximately 30 more minutes. Remove the top pan, then bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until cooked through (test with a wooden skewer inserted into the center, or knock on the bottom and listen for a hollow sound).

6) Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. To store, wrap in a tea towel and place in a zip-top bag. The towel will help keep the bread moist and soften the crust a bit.

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