Oatmeal Soda Bread


Oatmeal soda bread, a quick bread made with finely ground rolled oats, flour, buttermilk, egg, and leavened with baking soda.

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.

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.)

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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Oatmeal Soda Bread

Showing 4 of 39 Comments / Reviews

  • Carol

    This is a fabulous recipe!! Thank you!! I used all oat flour and the bread is perfect, I’ve adapted it into a Rusk recipe that is glorious, I added raisins, sunflower seeds, a little orange zest and chopped dates, I bake in a loaf tin and slice into fingers. I then dry the rusks in my dehydrator overnight but one could use a very cool oven for a couple of hours or a warming drawer.

  • Aidan

    Made this bread for the first time today. Its delicious and really easy to make. I found 30 minutes baking time was enough in my oven, 15mins @ 230 degrees and 15mins @200 degrees.
    Thank you for sharing such a lovely tasty recipe.

  • Paul Tominac

    After variants of corn bread and jalapeño cornbread; and biscuits (who knew they would be such a pain to make?) I was looking for something different, and with oats, which I love; and not unhealthy. This recipe has so far been the answer. Look at what’s not in it: Butter. Sugar—only 1tsp—and only one egg! And yet it cooks up so well!

    I have a 1930s, unrestored gas stove, so achieving 450F is a bit difficult, maintaining even moreso. Thus I’ve put my loaves in at around 410F, and cooked them around 405F for about a half hour to good end. I’d suggest the temperatures are not set in stone.

    I’ve made two rounds and one oblong—both came out swell, but I prefer the oblong—which fits the toaster better (it’s so dense though that it is difficult to toast, perhaps you have one of those industrial toasters? ) Even still it makes good toast and goes well with butter and with butter/jam.

    No, it is not wildly flavored—it’s very mild—come on!!! 1tsp of salt to over 4 cups of wheat and oat, flour? But the grain is very nice, soft, pleasant to eat.

    When hot, I thought it had aromas of orange and honey, so I added orange peel to this latest batch—we’ll see how it works when it cools—it was wonderful hot.

    Other than that, on the second and third batch I ground up oat groats/berries (whole oats) and used half and half groats/old fashioned oats in the food processor.

    It’s November in San Francisco, a bit humid, so I didn’t feel I had to add any extra buttermilk, and didn’t draw up too much flour in the short kneading/shaping step.

    This is a very nice bread, and would be lovely for a dinner with friends, perhaps even with a herbed butter. It looks good, it tastes good, and it makes up so easy.

  • 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!

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