Gluten Free Seedy Irish Soda Bread

This recipe is a gluten free variation on an old Irish classic, which I picked up at culinary school in Ireland. Baking soda was introduced in Ireland the early 1800s, and it meant that people who didn't have an oven—and virtually nobody had an oven back then—could make soda bread. Families cooked the bread in a big cast-iron pot right onto the coals or onto the turf fire. These families typically also had buttermilk from the cows and they would have been growing wheat, so they would have had flour.

Yield: 1 loaf

Gluten Free Seedy Irish Soda Bread

prep time: 20 minscook time: 50 minstotal time: 70 mins


  • 1 1/4 cups (6.25 oz) white rice flour
  • 1 cup (4.5 oz) brown rice flour
  • 1 cup (4 oz) tapioca flour
  • 1/2 (¾ oz) cup dried milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • 2 eggs (divided)
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk


  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Whisk together all the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Lightly whisk the egg and buttermilk together.
  2. Make a well in the center and pour in most of the egg and buttermilk at once. Using one hand, with your fingers stiff and outstretched like a claw, stir in a full circular movement from the centre to the outside of the bowl in ever-increasing circles, adding a little more buttermilk if necessary. The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky. The trick with white soda bread is not to over-mix the dough.  Mix it as quickly and as gently as possible thus keeping it light and airy.
  3. When the dough all comes together, turn it out onto a rice-floured work surface.
  4. Wash and dry your hands.  With rice-floured fingers, roll lightly for a few seconds - just enough to tidy it up.  Pat the dough into a round, pressing to about 2 inch in height. Place the dough on a baking tray dusted lightly with rice flour.  With a sharp knife cut a deep cross in the dough.
  5. Whisk the second egg with a tablespoon of water in a small bowl, and brush egg wash across the top of the loaf. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of extra pumpkin/sunflower/sesame seeds and a pinch of Maldon sea salt on top of the egg wash.
  6. Bake for 5 minutes at 450°F, then reduce the heat to 375°F for a further 40-50 minutes or until cooked. If in doubt, tap the bottom of the bread: if it is cooked it will sound hollow. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve freshly baked, cut into thick slices and smeared with butter or olive oil!
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