This vegan soda bread features oats and dairy-free butter for a non-traditional but delicious quick loaf! A bit like a giant fluffy biscuit, soda bread is a great alternative to yeasted breads. Traditionally, soda bread only has a very small handful of ingredients. Flour, salt, buttermilk, and baking soda to leaven. With dairy-free butter and oats added, this vegan soda bread is definitely not traditional, but is very moist and tasty!
This makes a large family-sized loaf, and it's deliciously rustic and crumbly, a bit like a big savoury scone. If you like a bit of a crustier outside, bake a little longer to let the loaf turn dark gold and get a nice caramelized flavour boost.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- White flour: use up to 50% whole wheat flour for a more wholesome loaf, or go with an alternative flour like spelt or Kamut.
- Oats: quick oats can be substituted for the rolled oats if that's what you have on hand. Steel cut oats can't be used.
- Apple cider vinegar: white vinegar can be used in place of apple cider if you don't have any.
- Make it with dairy: if the soda bread doesn't need to be vegan, use dairy buttermilk and butter. If you have true buttermilk, omit the vinegar from the recipe.
Step 1: make the buttermilk and set aside, then mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Rub in the vegan butter.
Step 2: pour the buttermilk into the dry ingredients and stir into a shaggy dough.
Step 3: knead the dough until smooth, then shape into a round and score with a knife.
Step 4: bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.
- Serve fresh: as with most soda breads or scones, this is best eaten the same day it's baked. It can be stored for a couple of days and toasted before serving.
- Reduce the recipe: halve the recipe if the large loaf is too much for you, but note that the baking time will change. Just keep an eye on it and remove from the oven when it's good and brown.
- Serve with anything: a mix between bread and scones, soda bread is terrific with soups or stews, or as a snack with jam and tea. Savoury or sweet, however you like it!
Since this is a quick bread, you have to avoid over-mixing or kneading for too long. Don't melt that butter! Mix until it just comes together, and then shape with a quick, light hand. Keep your ingredients cold as much as possible.
Use a vegan butter you like, especially since this is such a minimal recipe. You will taste it!
How to Store
Storage: keep the cooled bread in a sealed container for 2-3 days, but note that it does get a bit stale and hard after the first day. We recommend toasting if it's older than a day.
Freezing: place the soda bread in an airtight container and freeze for up to a month. It will be slightly dry when thawed but can be toasted.
What is special about soda bread?
Soda bread is always made with buttermilk, adding a distinctive sour tang with the flavour of baking soda. It's a good speedy bread that makes a fast replacement for yeast bread.
What's the difference between soda bread and normal bread?
Soda bread is a quick bread, so it's made with baking soda rather than yeast or sourdough starter, used in standard breads. It takes much less time to make and doesn't require a rising period.
Is soda bread better than sourdough?
Both have their place! Soda bread is much faster than sourdough, ready in less than an hour rather than needing 12+ hours, but doesn't ave any of the digestive benefits that come with sourdough bread.
If you make this Vegan Soda Bread recipe or any other quick bread recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Vegan Soda Bread
- baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- 2 Mixing bowls
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- sharp knife
- Wire rack
- 1 ⅔ cup plant-based milk we used oat milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup large flake oats also called rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup dairy-free butter cold from the fridge
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the milk and vinegar together in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a larger bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
- Add the butter to the flour mixture. Using your thumbs and fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the butter has broken into small flat bits and the mixture is coarse and crumbly.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the milk. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir everything until the dough has almost come together, then switch to mixing with your hands.
- Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until smooth, about 30 times. If the dough is sticking, add sprinkles of flour as needed.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to quickly and gently form the dough into a flat round disc, about 1 inch (2½ cm) in height. Sprinkle the top of the loaf lightly with flour as needed if sticking.
- Using a sharp knife, slash a large X on the top of the loaf, about ¼ inch (½ cm) deep.
- Place the loaf in the preheated oven and bake it for 40 to 43 minutes, or until the top is golden.
- Remove the bread from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the loaf itself to the wire rack and cool completely before slicing. Serve with butter or with butter and jam.