Vegan Irish Soda Bread

I'm usually pretty late on the uptake with these holiday posts so I thought for once I'd get one in on time - sorta. It's probably better to post a St.Patrick's Day recipe several days before thus giving people time to gather in the ingredients for the event itself. Makes sense right? That's were the joy of this recipe comes in because I guarantee you'll have all the ingredients already in your kitchen. I was so tempted to do something more involved but laziness got the better of me. Being Irish myself I thought of the quickest, simplest recipe I know, which is how I came to soda bread. Only a few ingredients and no yeast needed. The key here is the cider vinegar. You see, in the absence of buttermilk (this being a vegan version and all) I needed something that would imitate the same sourness that it provides. The cider vinegar makes the soya milk curdle and truthfully I think the taste is  absolutely spot on - I'd be surprised if some people could tell the difference - perhaps not my Nanny but some, less Irish people anyway.

I'm pretty pleased with my St.Paddy's Day effort - although admittedly more pleased that I got it in before the 17th.

vegan irish soda bread

2 cups plain white flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 cup soya milk

1 tsp cider vinegar

Pre-heat the oven to 220 degress celsius/430 fahrenheit.

In a bowl combine the soya milk and cider vinegar. Set aside and allow it to curdle.

Sift the flour, salt, sugar and bicarb into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly and, whilst it may seem silly, grab handfuls of it and allow it to fall back into the bowl - this aerates the mixture.

Add most of the soya milk and using a spatula or your hand turn into a soft doughball - it will be a little sticky, that's fine. You may or may not need the rest of the liquid.

Flour a clean surface and turn the doughball out onto it. Lightly knead - be sure not to overwork it. Shape into a ball.

Flour a baking sheet and transfer the doughball. Flour a knife and mark a cross in the top of the bread. Bake for 30minutes until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.

Wrap in a clean tea towel to ensure the crust doesn't harden too much. Eat warm or allow to cool, it's your call. It goes with well with sweet or savoury - I even had it with avocado.