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Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread

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Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread ~ an authentic Irish quick bread made even more delicious with oat flour!

Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread ~ I’ve made this authentic Irish quick bread even more delicious with the addition of oat flour…you won’t find an easier, or more tasty quick bread anywhere ~ it’s ready in under an hour!

Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread ~ sliced with butter

Soda bread is a traditional Irish bread made without yeast, and leavened with baking soda and buttermilk

It’s been made on a daily basis for generations.  This bread has a unique texture and a charming simplicity.  Maybe you fist encounter it when you’re putting together a St. Patrick’s Day menu, but once you try it, it will become one of those recipes you turn to again and again.  Bread this quick and easy doesn’t come along every day.

Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread ~ a classic irish quick bread made with oat flour for fabulous flavor and texture!

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!

TIP: If you can get past the scraggly looks of this bread, you’re a wise person because you’ll have a wonderful go-to bread recipe that can be hot on your table in less than an hour. 

Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread with its characteristic cross cut in the top.

The characteristic cross is cut into the dough with a sharp knife just before baking to allow the bread to rise…and to let the fairies escape!

*Recipe adapted from Irish Pub Cooking

Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread ~ an authentic Irish quick bread made even more delicious with oat flour!
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3.12 from 98 votes

Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread

Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread ~ I've made this authentic Irish quick bread even more delicious with the addition of oat won't find an easier, or more tasty quick bread anywhere ~ it's ready in under an hour!
Course bread
Cuisine Irish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Yield 8 servings


  • 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!




irish oatmeal soda bread pin


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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Robyn Gleason
    February 28, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    5 stars
    Sooooo good and super easy to make. I have some digesting issues so it’s nice to finally enjoy some bread without any problems.
    Thank you Sue :))

  • Reply
    Catherine Dalon
    October 13, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Oh. My. God.
    THANK YOU!!!!
    Thank you for making REAL soda bread!!! My mom was born in Ireland, she came here after WWII. Real Irish soda bread does NOT HAVE SUGAR IN IT!! It makes me crazy to see recipes using sugar. Nope.
    This looks excellent, as are all your recipes.
    I would like to try it half oat flour and half white flour.
    When I make my moms with whole wheat flour, I use 1 cup white to 3 cups whole wheat.
    I can’t wait to try it!!!

    Cate Dalton

    • Reply
      October 14, 2019 at 8:42 am

      Soda bread is such fun to make, I’ve got a couple of other recipes I’m dying to share. I have a whole wheat ‘brown’ soda bread recipe on the blog too!

  • Reply
    Karleen Elliott
    June 4, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Can I substitute the buttermilk for water?

    • Reply
      June 4, 2019 at 8:45 am

      Sure, that would be interesting!

  • Reply
    April 15, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    I made this recipe last night and you’re right, it was super easy! I added 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds and 2 cups of buttermilk. I bake for 25 minutes but next time I will keep it in longer. There’s nothing like homemade bread and this being so easy with no sugar is perfect for me! It was scrumptious! I wish I could show a picture because it came out really pretty not scraggly at all.

    • Reply
      April 15, 2019 at 2:16 pm

      That’s great to hear Darlene, but mine always come out scraggly, you must have done something right!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Sue I want to make this recipe but I love caraway seeds. Do you think I can add them without changing the recipe too much?

    • Reply
      April 13, 2019 at 8:16 pm


  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Where can i get oat flour?

    • Reply
      February 19, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      Most large supermarkets sell oat flour in the flour aisle, or in the health food section. You can find it online, and also make it yourself, just take rolled oats and process them with a food processor or high speed blender until they become finely ground.

  • Reply
    October 5, 2018 at 6:14 am

    I just made this yesterday after looking for an authentic recipe when we returned from a vacation in Ireland. So glad I found your recipe! I did tweak it a bit, used 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup of “Irish” flour (from King Arthur) which is a grainy wheat flour and 1 cup of oat flour. I also added about 1/3 cup of quick cook steel cut oats (McCann’s) and rolled old-fashioned oats combined. I loved finding the recipe without sugar. Used all your proportions and made it in a loaf pan, and we love it! I didn’t think 30 minutes would be long enough, but it was perfect. So far just with butter (Irish!) and warm from the pan, but can’t wait to try toasted with jams. Thank you for the keeper!

    • Reply
      October 5, 2018 at 5:48 pm

      I’m thrilled that this bread lived up to your Irish experience, that’s the highest compliment :)

  • Reply
    Cody Johnson
    October 2, 2018 at 8:13 am


    • Reply
      October 2, 2018 at 8:17 am

      No, you’ve got lots of options…you can use all plain flour, or you can substitute another whole grain flour for the oat flour, like whole wheat for instance.

  • Reply
    August 27, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Can you make this soda bread with gluten free flour?

  • Reply
    Georgiana Stroe
    February 24, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    Hi Sue, can I use simple yogurt instead of buttermilk? Thank You.

    • Reply
      February 25, 2018 at 7:47 am

      I think that should work fine, Georgiana, you might want to thin it down with a little milk first.

  • Reply
    February 20, 2018 at 2:21 am

    Has anyone tried this using half oat flour and half ap floor? Trying to scale back my wheat consumption, but unsure how much effect that would have on the texture.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Hi Sue, I live on the most northerly point in Ireland, Malin Head, where leprechauns jump out of the bread, not fairies!! ? DQ

    • Reply
      November 8, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      lol :)

  • Reply
    Jo Warren
    September 20, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I have made this for years, both as a loaf and as individual buns. I like your oat flour idea but my recipe uses the old fashioned oats. I leave them soaking in the buttermilk overnight before I make the bread. The time makes for a sour dough flavor which is wonderful when you make toast from it.

    • Reply
      November 8, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      Love the soaking idea, Jo, I can’t wait to experiment with it, thanks.

  • Reply
    September 9, 2017 at 11:38 am

    I made this using Almond milk and rice vinegar as well as using half salt and half salt substitute. instead of kneading after I added liquid I just folded the mixture until incorporated and then a few extra times as the baking soda/ vinegar reaction gave it a lift so to speak. Makes a good Vegan alternative. Turned out well.
    I don’t drink milk and am allergic to yeast and eggs so always looking for alternatives.

    • Reply
      September 9, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks for that feedback Meraiah, it’s so valuable to my vegan readers!

    • Reply
      March 10, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      Have you tried very fresh eggs from your own chickens? Many folks who think they’re allergic to eggs find they can tolerate farm fresh eggs just, fine, myself included :)

  • Reply
    Ben Maclain|Havocinthekitchen
    March 19, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    This bread looks perfect! I’ve been planning to make Irish soda bread for a number of years, and this post is another sign I shouldn’t wait for another few years:) Well done!

    • Reply
      March 19, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      I was the same way Ben, I thought it didn’t sound very appealing at first, but I’m a total convert, the texture is wonderful, and you can’t beat how easy it is!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2017 at 10:21 am

    My husband loves raisins in his soda bread. Can I add some raisins to this bread, and how many should I use? Thank you!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Oh I love the idea of using oats for this!

  • Reply
    March 18, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    can we use homemade buttermilk for this? if so, how much milk to vinegar/lemon juice?!??!

    • Reply
      March 18, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      I don’t see why you couldn’t use homemade buttermilk, which is generally one cup milk to one or two tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar. But I’m partial to the cultured buttermilk you can buy in stores, it’s thick and has great flavor.

  • Reply
    March 18, 2017 at 11:57 am

    I’ve been meaning to make soda bread for ages and this looks perfect! I love the addition of oat flour.

  • Reply
    March 18, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Yummy yummy get in my tummy!! This looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    March 18, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Love the addition of oat flour! Must give great flavour and the texture looks perfect :)

  • Reply
    March 17, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    This looks and sounds lovely……can I get oat flour in the UK? Or can I substitute another flour instead?

    • Reply
      March 17, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      I bet you can get it, Margaret, but it’s also so easy to make it, just take regular rolled oats and process them into flour in a food processor or high speed blender. It takes just seconds!

      • Reply
        March 17, 2017 at 6:07 pm

        And yes, you can substitute whole wheat, or any other flour you like…

  • Reply
    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    March 17, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Looks so simple and delicious!

    • Reply
      March 17, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      It’s almost unbelievable how simple these breads are ~ Happy St. Paddy’s Day Karen!

  • Reply
    Abbe@This is How I Cook
    March 17, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    This is so simple there is no reason not to indulge. And indulge I will!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    March 17, 2017 at 10:18 am

    I love the addition of oat flour, this looks fantastic!

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    March 17, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Soda bread is definitely one of my favourite quick breads. Yours with oat flour sounds and looks awesome, Sue.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    March 17, 2017 at 9:03 am

    I sure wish I had a slice or two of this today! The texture looks fantastic. Certainly my favorite way to celebrate all things Irish!

    • Reply
      March 17, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Thanks Tricia, and I know I sound like a broken record, but it makes the BEST TOAST!