Gluten-Free Cranberry & Oat Soda Bread

Preparation info

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By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

  • About

In 2007, a routine blood test showed that I had coeliac disease. Panic set in as I sunk into obsessive thoughts about all of the foods I would not be able to enjoy. But as is my way I saw it as a challenge to use my skills as a baker to make the most delicious gluten-free baked goods and treats, such as this one. Months later, I found out that the initial diagnosis was incorrect, but I’ve continued to experiment with different flours and combinations.


  • 300 ml buttermilk or 300 ml whole milk with juice of ½ lemon
  • 300 g gluten-free plain white or brown flour, plus extra for dusting (I like Doves Farm)
  • 100 g gluten-free porridge oats, plus extra for sprinkling
  • tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp black treacle (optional)
  • 80 g dried cranberries (can use another dried fruit also)


Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C/400°F/gas 6) and place a baking sheet in the oven. If you’re making your own buttermilk, put the milk and lemon juice in a jug and allow it to sit for 15 minutes.

Put the flour, oats, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon. Then add the egg yolks, treacle and cranberries. Make a well in the centre, then add enough of the buttermilk and mix to make a nice soft dough. You might not need all of the buttermilk, so just add enough so it comes together nicely and is not too wet.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle some flour over it, being careful as it will be hot. Get your hands in the bowl and bring the dough together with a couple of turns. Then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and using your hands form the dough into a circle, about 18cm across and 5cm thick. Put the soda bread onto the heated baking sheet.

Being careful of the hot baking sheet, dip your wooden spoon into the bag of flour, and place it horizontally on the bread, pushing all the way down to the baking sheet to form the first half of the traditional cross. Change the direction of the spoon so it is at right angles to the other line and repeat this process to create a big cross. Take the extra oats and then sprinkle them over the top of the bread.

Bake the bread in the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the bread is golden and crusty. To check that the bread is properly cooked, tap the base – it should sound hollow. The dough inside the cross should also be cooked and no longer wet. If the bread is not quite ready then place it back into the oven for another 5 minutes or so.

Once the bread is cooked, transfer it to a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes. This bread is best eaten warm.