I do this every year. I make a loaf of soda bread for Saint Paddy’s day, love it and scold myself for not making it more often. I mean their is easy to make, keeps well unbaked in the freezer and is delish. I am determined to keep mini loaves in the freezer. I tried a grain-free version and even my family loved it, so I thought I would share with you. It is a bit different then the other GF recipes floating around. I know there is a long list of tips but please read through them. Fist off, I feel like if a cook can explain their recipe to you, if they understand it, then one can trust the recipe more. Second, if you are new to grain free baking some of the tips might help you!
Soda Bread, grain-free
Makes 4 individual soda breads or 12 small biscuits
2 cups almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. sweetener, I use coconut sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
4 TBL. cold butter, cut into small cubes
⅟₈ cup dried currents
Zest of one large lemon peel or 5 drops of food grade lemon oil, I use Young Living
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk
Put all dry ingredients in a food processor (or can be done by hand with a bowl). Pulse all dry ingredients together. Add cubed butter and pulse butter until it is pea size. Rule on the size of the butter being too big, you can fix those big pieces in the next step.
Dump flour/butter mixture in a large bowl. Feel around for pieces of butter that feels bigger than a pea. Smear them into the flour with your fingers. Add currents and toss, so they do not stick together.
In a separate small bowl whisk together buttermilk, egg and lemon zest or oil and add to flour.
Cover a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Divide dough into four balls. Using wet hands shape each ball into a flatten disk and cut a cross into the dough.
You need your butter to harden before baking, so I pop the cookie sheet into the freezer for ½ hour while the oven pre-heats. You can completely freeze these (I keep bags of them in the freezer) and you can bake them off frozen.
Pre-heat oven 300◦F Bake 20-30 minutes. If they are fully frozen, they make take a few minutes longer. Plus depending on how your oven runs. Just start checking them about 20 hour minutes. Let cool before eating.
1. The reason why these are not all almond flour is by adding a bit of coconut flour, it gives these a more stable biscuit. They do not crumble quite as much, which is a problem with grain-free baking.
2. Also the xanthan gum give a bread feel to the biscuit and gives more of a texture of regular soda bread. But a little gum goes a long way, so do not think if some is good, more is great.
3. Feel free to leave out the sweetener, I just personally like it that way.
4. Flavors, I like lemon peel and currants is what I like but you could add any spice or dried fruit you like. They are also good plain! Also I do not know why by the lemon flavor seems to get lost, so do use more zest than you normally would.
5. Do not have buttermilk on hand? Soured whole milk is what I use.
6. This comes together as wet dough, using wet hands to scoop up a 1/4 of the dough and shape the loaves work best.
7. Remember that coconut flour absorbs 3 times it weight. So in a minute or two the dough will firm up a bit.
8. It is important to keep the loves not too big and bake on a lower temp. They are basically ground almonds and nuts can burn. By keeping them smaller, they will bake quicker.
9. Do not move them off the cookie sheet until they have cooled. Like I mentioned before, grain-free baked items tend to be crumbly. Letting them cool before moving them helps.