Strawberry Soda Bread

Bad luck o' the Irish went down in my house on Saturday night. One of my most embarrassing food moments to date. I made a delicious gluten-free soda bread for St. Paddy's, served it to friends, and found out that the milk I used in it was spoiled. Yikes. Not only was it a top chef offense, but it was really disappointing not to have one of my favorite Irish goodies at my corned beef feast. Determined to make another one that was actually safe to eat, I saw the first of the season's strawberries start to trickle in to the grocery store and thought this could be a great opportunity to do something different. The shortcake-like dough of the soda bread with little flecks of roasted strawberries makes this into a loaf of much needed springtime nostalgia versus the accompaniment to a dark Irish stew. I've eaten it every which way over the past few days. It's great topped with some Irish butter and a drizzle of honey. Also delicious with fresh strawberries, mint, and whipped cream for a true shortcake experience. Or equally enjoyable eaten by the big slice with absolutely nothing to dress it up, which is how you'll find me housing it most days.

1 Tbsp flaxseed meal

3 cups (375g) all-purpose gluten-free flour blend with xantham gum (I like Cup 4 Cup)

¼ cup raw cane sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ cup butter, cold and chopped into small pieces

1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 c diced strawberries, chopped small

To glaze bread

1 Tbsp melted butter

1 Tbsp vanilla almond milk

Preheat oven to 375° and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicon mat.

In a small bowl, combine the milled flaxseed with 3 Tbsp water and let sit for at least 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Use a whisk to make sure the dry ingredients are evenly dispersed. Add in the cold butter and work into the flour using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your hands. The mixture should start to look a little shaggy, like wet sand, and the butter pieces should be the size of small peas.

Add the almond milk, lemon juice, and flax egg. Use a spatula to mix roughly. Add in the strawberries and continue to mix until completely combined.

Use your hands to shape the dough into a sphere and place it on the sheet pan. Combine the melted butter and almond milk in a small bowl and brush it onto the loaf. Once the loaf is coated, use a sharp knife to create an ‘x’ on the top of the dough, cutting about ¼ to ½-inch into the bread.

Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely on the sheet pan before serving.