Gluten-free chocolate chunk oat soda bread by Emma Hatcher

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Oat Soda Bread by Emma Hatcher

This recipe is part sweet scone, part soda bread and all the delicious. It’s the perfect vehicle for using up any leftover Easter chocolate and is best served warm, so that the chocolate is just-melted in little pools, glistening alongside golden specs of flaxseed.

Making your own lactose-free buttermilk couldn’t be easier. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to lactose-free milk and watch the magic happen.

This recipe is lower FODMAP for those of us with sensitive guts - but if that doesn't apply to you, you could reduce the amount of sugar and sub in some chopped dates or sultanas and add some chopped nuts or a sprinkle of seeds for extra crunch.

Serves 8

Chocolate chunk oat soda bread


300ml lactose free whole milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
300g gluten-free plain flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
80g gluten-free rolled oats, plus 2 tablespoons for the top
1 teaspoon fine salt
3 tablespoons golden caster sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for the top
50g cold unsalted butter
80-100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons flaxseed
1 medium free-range egg yolk


Preheat the oven to 190C, 170C fan and line a baking tray.

To make the lactose-free buttermilk, combine the whole milk and lemon juice in a jug and let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until curdled.

Sift the flour, xanthan gum and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and stir through the oats, salt and sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour mixture with your fingertips, until it’s sandy in texture. Stir through the dark chocolate and flaxseeds.

Mix the egg yolk into the buttermilk and then quickly stir 2/3 of the wet mix into the dry mix, to make a soft sticky dough. Because gluten-free flour likes to absorb more liquid, you want the mix to be a little wetter than a regular soda bread dough, but still very much able to hold its shape – add more of the wet mix if you think the dough needs it.

Turn the dough out onto the baking sheet and use your hands to form the dough into a circle about 5cm thick. Use some of the leftover buttermilk to spread over the top of the dough, smoothing down any edges with your fingers.

Use a sharp knife to make a deep cross four times on the top of the dough. Sprinkle over the remaining two tablespoons of oats and tablespoon of sugar and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 180C, 160C fan and bake for a further 20 minutes, or until slightly risen, golden brown and the soda bread sounds slightly hollow when you tap the bottom.

Allow to cool until warm before tucking in.

Hungry for more?

These Orange and Rhubarb Snack Bars are a delicious mix up from your usual breakfast or snack and they’re going to transform your morning!