“This is a brilliant recipe. Have made it several times since finding it on your site. Stays lovely and moist for a couple of days. But then it makes super toast! ~Mary
Soda bread is a traditional Irish bread made without yeast
This amazing Irish oatmeal soda bread is made in under an hour, from start to finish! It has a unique texture and a charming simplicity. Whether you’re putting together a St. Patrick’s Day menu, or just looking for a quick no-yeast no-knead bread for dinner, this is a must try.
Irish soda bread is a type of bread that has been a staple in Ireland for centuries. The simple recipe is made from flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. It has a distinctive flavor and texture that is both dense and crumbly, and is often enjoyed with butter or jam.
oat flour enriches this rustic soda bread
I’ve used one of my favorite ingredients to bump up the flavor and texture of this Irish oatmeal soda bread ~ oat flour! It’s naturally sweet, and adds so much to almost anything you bake. And guess what? You don’t need to go out and buy anything special, you can whip up your own by processing regular oats, either rolled or steel cut, in a food processor or high speed blender. I used my Vitamix and it took less than a minute. The resulting flour is silky and really delicious. For more details, check out my post about how to make your own oat flour.
the benefits of oat flour in baking
- Nutritional benefits: Oat flour is a good source of fiber, protein, and other nutrients, which can help to make bread recipes like this Irish oatmeal soda bread more nutritious and filling.
- Moisture retention: Oat flour has a higher water-holding capacity than many other types of flours, which can help to keep bread recipes moist and tender.
- Binding properties: The high protein content in oat flour can help to bind bread dough together and improve its structure.
- Flavor and texture: Oat flour can add a nutty flavor and slightly denser texture to bread recipes, which can be particularly appealing in rustic or whole-grain breads.
why do we cut a cross into the top of this oatmeal soda bread?
The reason for cutting a cross in the top of Irish soda bread has both practical and symbolic significance.
Practically, cutting a cross in the top of the bread allows the heat to penetrate deeper into the dough during baking, which helps the bread cook more evenly. This technique also helps the bread to rise properly, as the cross allows the steam to escape as the bread bakes.
Symbolically, the cross is often seen as a way of blessing the bread and protecting it from evil. In traditional Irish households, it was believed that cutting a cross into the bread would ward off the devil and protect the household from harm. The cross also served as a way to divide the bread into quarters, which could represent the four provinces of Ireland or the four elements of nature.
what to serve with soda bread
- Traditional Irish Leek and Potato Soup
- Classic New England Fish Pie Recipe
- The Best Cottage Pie Recipe
- Dublin Coddle ~ a quick cooking Irish stew!
- Corn and Cheddar Cheese Chowder
- Finnish Salmon Soup
- Mushroom and Brie Soup
- Potato Soup with Bratwurst
Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk (possibly a little bit more)
- Set oven to 425F
- Whisk the flours, salt, and soda together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, and add about 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk. Gradually mix the flour and buttermilk, adding the remaining buttermilk if your dough seems too dry. The dough will have a rough texture to it.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead briefly until it comes together. Form into an 8 inch round disk. Transfer to a baking sheet and cut a cross in the top with a sharp knife.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. It should sound hollow when you rap the bottom.
- Let cool for a few minutes, but then enjoy it while still warm, with some good Irish butter, of course!
- If you want a real treat, Make Your own Butter to have with your bread!
Questions and Reviews
I just made this to go with Guiness beef stew and it is delicious. I made my own oatmeal flour and substituted yogurt for buttermilk. it is wonderfully crusty and moist and delicious, quick and easy to make.
Could you confirm that the dough should be needed into an 8 inch round disk. Do you mean disk as in a flat shape? Will the loaf rise to a round loaf as it bakes?
Hi Dean, yes this loaf will rise as it cooks so it doesn’t need to be shaped into a round ball like some breads do. No need to go out of your way to overly flatten it, but a rough disk shape (it will be pretty thick) will do the trick. Hope this helps!
Can you use all oat flour with this bread?
I haven’t tried that Christie, so I’m not sure.
This is a brilliant recipe. Have made it several times since finding it on your site. Stays lovely and moist for a couple of days. But then it makes super toast!
I like the suggestion of a previous commenter for using Guinness as part of the liquid in the recipe – might try it.
Thanks Sue. :))
I love your enthusiasm Mary 🙂
Hello – I can’t wait to try this bread – it sounds delicious. I will try it as written the first time, but wondered what are your thoughts on using a beer (Guinness, perhaps) instead of the buttermilk? Obviously it would give it a different flavor, but I’m interested in your thoughts? Thanks in advance!!
I haven’t tried it, but I think you should be able to use beer. Let us know how it turns out!
Loving this recipe for today. I have barley flour left over from another bake, and no oatmeal flour, so I’ll use that. I’m also adding in about 3/4 cup of currants. Baking this in two cast-iron bread pans. Thanks for the recipe – so far I’m loving the texture of the dough, as when I’ve made this in the past the dough was just impossible to work with, shape, and bake well. It was such a mess. I’m always afraid to over-knead, and I think I end up not kneading enough.
I bet the barley flour will give it nice flavor.
I don’t see a temperature listed for the oven! What temperature?
Oh, 425 I’m sorry I must have missed it!
Can you halve this recipe? There are only 2 of us, and I have to make in a toaster oven.
Sure, just be sure to watch the baking time. You can also make it in muffin form!
Sure, just watch the baking time so you don’t over-bake it.