Oatmeal Soda Bread

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Oh my, there is something magical about this bread. It’s really just a basic soda bread, but with ground up rolled oats swapped in for some of the flour. The result is deep and nutty, and the crust thick, browned, and crunchy.

Perfect with some rich Irish butter and homemade jam. Or maybe a little whipped cream cheese and smoked salmon. Eat it up quickly though! Soda bread is always best freshly made.

Oatmeal Soda Bread Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Makes one loaf


  • 2 cups (170 g) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 1/4 cups (290 g) all purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Butter for greasing the pan


1 Preheat oven to 450°F.  Place oats in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.

2 In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the finely ground oats, flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt.

Stir the buttermilk and egg together. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk egg mixture.

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Gently fold the surrounding flour over the buttermilk with a wooden spoon. Continue to gently fold until just combined. Do not over mix! The dough should look very shaggy. It should be on the moist side. If it is too wet to handle, add a little more flour. If too dry, add a little more buttermilk.

4 Place dough on a lightly flour dusted surface. Knead one or two times only, and form into a mound shape. Grease a large cast iron frying pan with a little butter and place the dough in the center. (If you don't have a cast iron frying pan, just put on a greased baking sheet that can take high heat.)

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Score the center of the dough in a cross shape with a sharp knife, making 1 1/2 inch deep cuts.

5 Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 450°F (230 °C). Then lower the oven temperature to 400°F (205°C) and cook for 25 minutes more.


To test if the bread is done, take it out of the oven, turn it over and knock on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it's done.

6 Remove pan from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Note, take care with the hot handles of the cast iron pan! I never leave this one to chance (after having burned myself pretty badly once picking up a hot pan), and I rub an ice cube over the hot handle to cool it down, so that someone doesn't inadvertently pick up the pan by the handle.

Remove bread from pan and let cool further on a wire rack for another 15 minutes or so. The bread is best if eaten within hours of baking. Serve with butter and jam. If saving for later, wrap in a slightly damp clean tea towel.

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Oat Soda Bread from Jennie of In Jennie's Kitchen

Oat Soda Bread from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks

Oatmeal Soda Bread

Showing 4 of 36 Comments

  • Steve

    I have a hungry teenager who loves fresh bread, so I put him to work. We used oat flour instead of rolled oats and it was really good. After that we substituted rye flour and then whole wheat flour. Each had its own character and none of the loaves lasted for long.

  • Judy Adamson

    I know I’ve come to this very late, but in case you are still monitoring comments, I wonder whether this recipe would work for rolls (to freeze) rather than a loaf. The reason is that I live alone and need to watch the calories. It sounds so tempting, I’d be likely to eat the whole loaf at one sitting!

  • Rick

    This bread came out very dense and not that flavorful, yearning for jam or honey. As a rookie breadmaker, I wonder if I did something wrong. Also, would adding caraway seeds and/or raisins adversely affect the outcome?

  • Diane

    I’ve made this twice now and have to tell you it is AWESOME. I subbed in Quaker rolled multigrain cereal (rye, barley, oats, wheat), 5/8 cup whole grain rye flour and 5/8 cup whole wheat flour for the same amount of all-purpose flour, and let the dough sit a while before kneading it for more liquid to absorb. I’ve used the lemon juice/milk combo in recipes forever. (Although ny nother used to buy powdered buttermilk in a can like baking powder.) The leftover bread makes awesome sanwiches and is soooo good with jam or jelly, or cherry butter! Finally a quick bread that’s not loaded with melted butter or heavy with lots of oil!

  • Marg

    I made this last night(finally). I used steel cut oats, but did it differently than the suggested soaking them as they come. Instead I ground them in to flour like the recipe says to do for old fashioned oats and simply used them that way. It really came out well. It works just fine to grind the steel cut oats into a flour. I should have added a bit more all purpose flour as the dough was very sticky but I finally managed to wrangle it into shape. :) It ended up looking almost exactly like your picture.

    It really came out well, had a wonderful texture. I’ve never made any kind of bread before so this was a good first experience and can’t wait to try to make other kinds now. :)

    PS I cooked it 15 minutes at 450 and then ended up doing only 20 minutes at 400. It looked done to me and when I tapped the bottom it sounded hollow so I took it out. The extra 5 minutes would have burnt it for sure.

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