Kombucha Irish Soda Bread has an incredibly complex and delicious flavor, similar to beer bread. All it takes is a handful of basic ingredients to prepare this no-knead, yeast-free gluten-free bread recipe!
This post is sponsored by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.
Have you ever baked a loaf of Irish Soda Bread? I began baking it right around 12 years ago as a way to fill my baking curiosity without having to dive too deeply into the nuances of baking bread with yeast.
Irish Soda Bread is an incredibly easy rustic drop bread, wherein baking soda is used as the main leavening agent. In traditional recipes, the baking soda reacts with buttermilk in order to rise during the baking process, eliminating the need for yeast.
For this reason, soda bread comes together very quickly as you don’t need to wait for the dough to prove and the yeast to ferment.
WELL, as the title of this post suggests, rather than using buttermilk, I use Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Strainge Beast Passion Fruit, Hops and Blood Orange Hard Kombucha in the soda bread.
For anyone who loves bread, or for those who want to try their hand at baking but are fairly new, soda bread is an amazing starting point (or in my case, ending point, as I love it so much it’s the only bread I bake regularly). It doesn’t require any kneading because it is gluten-free, which is another reason it is such an easy bread to prepare!
One major bonus to baking this bread is how absolutely incredible it makes your house smell. It smells like the most perfectly fermented bread is baking in your oven, with the most inviting vibes radiating throughout your house. This is what all bread baking should be like in my mind!
Why Bake With Kombucha?:
If you’ve ever tried beer bread or sourdough bread, the concept behind this kombucha soda bread is the same. We’re adding a fermented element to the dough in order to get a delicious result!
We simply replace the buttermilk with kombucha to achieve that same reaction.
Because Irish Soda Bread is a yeast-free bread, the yeast and probiotic-containing hard kombucha generates a similar reaction to yeast – allowing the bread to rise, become fluffy and airy.
During this process, the probiotics, yeast and hops present in the hard kombucha consume a small amount of the carbohydrate, producing gas (air bubbles) as a result.
While the dough for soda bread does not need to sit and ferment the way sourdough does, it is beneficial to allow the dough to rest before baking, even if only for 10 minutes.
Sierra Nevada Strainge Beast Hard Kombucha is a typical kombucha culture brewed with an addition of hops for some alcohol. The result is an alcoholic version of your favorite probiotic beverage! Hops are gluten-free, for any inquiring minds, so you can safely drink hard kombucha if you follow a gluten-free diet.
Sierra Nevada’s brand is near and dear to my heart, as I was obsessed with their Pale Ale back when I used to drink beer. They went from a small local business to a household name and now their products are available nationwide. So check your local stores, or use their Store Finder!
You know how sometimes you drink a kombucha and it tastes nothing like the flavor it claims to be? That is not the case with this kombucha. Even upon opening it, you can smell the citrus and passion fruit flavors – it is bold!
Ingredients for Kombucha Soda Bread:
Hard Kombucha: The bulk of the liquid in this recipe and the magical ingredient that both reacts with the baking soda and also helps bring airiness and fluff to the bread. As I mentioned before, I used Sierra Nevada Strainge Beast Hard Kombucha – I used their Passionfruit, Hops, and Blood Orange Flavor, but any of their flavors will work great!
Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour: We couldn’t bake bread without flour! Use your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend for this recipe. Do note that gluten-free blends vary greatly in absorbency, so if you notice the dough is very sticky, add more flour until a normal dough consistency forms. If you use a brand you know is more absorbent than others, start with 4 cups of flour and work up from there as needed.
Egg: All we need is one egg to work a little magic in the binding department.
Avocado Oil: The fat portion of the recipe. Baking is a fine balance between flour, fat, and leavening agents. I use avocado oil to make the bread entirely dairy-free, but you can absolutely use melted butter if you do dairy!
Honey: This is an important ingredient for a number of reasons! It is used to sweeten the bread a bit, just enough to give it complexity of flavor (without sweetener, bread is pretty lackluster in flavor). It also helps build that amazing outer crisp and gives it the golden color. Don’t skip it! If you prefer, you can use raw cane sugar, granulated cane sugar, or pure maple syrup as a substitute.
Sea Salt: Hugely important! Again, without enough sea salt, the bread is lackluster in flavor. I use two teaspoons of sea salt, but if you use iodized salt in your baking, lower it to one teaspoon, as iodized salt is much saltier.
Raisins: Optional, but encouraged! One of my favorite parts about Irish Soda Bread is that it’s studded with raisins for a little burst of sweetness and gooey texture. I think it lends a lot to the bread!
What does Kombucha Soda Bread Taste Like?
All things added up, this bread has a marvelously complex flavor. It tastes a bit like beer (due to the hops in the kombucha), a bit tangy, and just a touch sweet. There’s an almost indescribable richness to it…you’ll just have to taste it and tell me how it can be described in words!
The texture is dense yet airy with an amazing crunchy exterior. I highly suggest serving it warm with melted butter! Perhaps a drizzle of honey!
Let’s bake a loaf or twelve!
How to Make Irish Soda Bread with Kombucha:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (you can also use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or a casserole dish).
Add the gluten-free flour, baking soda, sea salt and raisins to the bowl of a stand mixer and stir until well-combined. Leaving the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the kombucha in the mixer and continue mixing until all the kombucha is in.
Whisk together the egg and oil in a bowl or measuring cup.
Add the egg/oil mixture and the honey to the mixer and beat on medium-high speed until a thick bread dough forms. Note: the dough should not be overly sticky. If it is, add more flour ¼ cup at a time until a nice dough forms.
Use your hands to form a large round disc shape out of the dough (it doesn’t have to be perfect!) and use a serrated knife to cut an X shape into it. Place the dough on the parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 35 minutes at 400 degrees. After 35 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and cover the bread in foil and bake another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the bread is baked through (poke it with a butter knife in the center to be sure it tests clean). Allow bread to cool completely before slicing and serving.
Note: If you don’t own a stand mixer, you can absolutely make the dough using a mixing bowl. It is difficult to get everything to come together in one cohesive dough (which is important for even baking), but not impossible.
Pro Tip: It is very important to wait for the bread to cool before slicing into it. Something about gluten-free bread necessitates this waiting process, or else it crumbles very easily.
That’s it! Your golden ticket to perfect, amazing bread that requires so little time or brain power to make!
- Replace the avocado oil with melted butter.
- Use cane sugar or pure maple syrup in place of honey (this will make the bread vegan too)
- Omit the raisins
- Add 1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans if you like a nutty texture!
- Add 1 tablespoon of orange zest and use dried cranberries instead of raisins for a Cranberry Orange flavor.
Kombucha Irish Soda Bread
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (you can also use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or a casserole dish).
- Add the gluten-free flour, baking soda, sea salt and raisins to the bowl of a stand mixer and stir until well-combined. Leaving the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the kombucha in the mixer and continue mixing until all the kombucha is in.
- Whisk together the egg and oil in a bowl or measuring cup.
- Add the egg/oil mixture and the honey to the mixer and beat on medium-high speed until a thick bread dough forms. Note: the dough should not be overly sticky. If it is, add more flour ¼ cup at a time until a nice dough forms.
- Use your hands to form a large round disc shape out of the dough (it doesn’t have to be perfect!) and use a serrated knife to cut an X shape into it. Place the dough on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 35 minutes at 400 degrees. After 35 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and cover the bread in foil and bake another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the bread is baked through (poke it with a butter knife in the center to be sure it tests clean). Allow bread to cool completely before slicing and serving.