To keep them from sticking together in clumps and help distribute them more evenly throughout my loaf of bread, I lightly dusted the raisin bits with a tiny bit of coconut flour. It worked like a charm -- much the way cornstarch would and separated them into itty bitty individual "raisinettes". I used my favorite Honeyville blanched almond flour to get the finest grind of almond flour. I also used buttermilk which is found in many traditional recipes, but I reduced the amount drastically. I also added a couple of non-traditional ingredients to help compensate for the lack of gluten in almond flour -- I added 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon of xanthum gum to give my bread added structure, much the way gluten does when using traditional wheat flour. I also added another non-traditional, but "politically correct" ingredient...a bit of Irish Kerrygold butter that I cut in with a pastry cutter/dough blender. It just felt like the right thing to do! After baking and cooling my loaf of bread last night, I loosely covered it and then uncovered it for a bit about an hour before slicing it (it gets moist when covered). I sliced one fourth of the small rounded loaf into 1/4-inch slices and placed them on a baking sheet and popped them into a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes to warm up and toast lightly. I served it with Kerrygold butter. I absolutely LOVED this bread. I don't know how close it is in flavor to traditional soda bread...but regardless, it is very tasty. I think it would be absolutely delicious served with tea or coffee and spread with Irish butter and maybe a touch of jam. To compensate for the reduced raisins and the sweetness they provide, I added a few tablespoons of Swerve granular sweetener to this recipe. It add just the right amount of sweetness without making it too sweet. It was perfect in my opinion. Hubby really enjoyed it, too...but this is also his first time having Irish Soda Bread. It is a tasty loaf of bread as is and would be delicious with some Ceylon cinnamon added to make it more of a breakfast bread/coffee cake. I snapped some photos below as well as my recipe for grain free Irish Soda Bread. Enjoy!
|1-ounce of finely chopped raisins -- doesn't look like much, right?|
|Same 1-ounce of finely chopped raisins separated by tossing with|
1 teaspoon coconut flour so they don't stick together
|It's easy to cut butter into the flour mixture with a pastry/dough blender|
|See how a very small amount of raisins seems like so much more?|
Irish Soda Bread - Grain-Free
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons Swerve Sweetener (or other granular sweetener)
2 tablespoons diced chilled butter
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 1-ounce box of raisins, chopped finely
1 teaspoon coconut flour
In a medium bowl, add almond flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, sweetener, and whisk until well combined. Using a pastry cutter/dough blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk in xanthum gum. In a small bowl, toss chopped raisins with coconut flour until lightly dusted (this keeps raisins from sticking together); stir raisins into dry mixture.
In a glass measuring cup, add buttermilk and egg and lightly beat. Make a well in center of dry mixture; pour wet mixture into dry ingredients and mix together with a rubber spatula just until dough pulls together into a soft ball. Shape dough with hands lightly dampened with water into a rounded loaf and transfer to a lightly greased 10-inch cast iron or oven proof skillet, baking sheet or cake pan. Using a sharp serrated knife, score top of loaf with "X-shaped" 1/2-inch deep slashes. Place in a 350 degree F oven and bake until golden brown, about 32-35 minutes. If additional browning is desired, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake approximately 5 to 7 minutes longer. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes; transfer bread to a wire rack to cool. Serve bread sliced with butter or jam at room temperature or lightly toast slices in a 350 degree F oven for a few minutes.