Oat Soda Bread Recipe

A rustic oat soda bread you can make in less than an hour. Seriously. Made from a simple ingredient list of rolled oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.

Oat Soda Bread

I love making soda bread. Homemade bread slathered with butter in less than an hour? Hard to beat. There are a million directions you can take soda breads, but the rye version I bake is a long-running favorite. I've never posted it here, but I include it in Super Natural Every Day. So, here's where things start to get interesting. One of the things I love about the internet is the ping-pong culture of ideas. Here's an example. Ten Speed sent out advance copies of the book to a number of food writers/editors a few weeks back. One of them was Jennifer Perillo. I follow Jennifer on Twitter. And last week she mentioned baking an oat soda bread based on the soda bread recipe in my book. Her bread looked beautiful. It's like I threw out a polka-dotted boomerang, and it came back to me plaid. So I decided to bake oat soda bread, based on Jennifer's version, adding a few twists of my own.

Oat Soda Bread Recipe

I'm not sure why I've never done an oat-centric soda bread, but the minute I saw Jennifer's it made perfect sense. The ingredient list is impossibly short: rolled oats, flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt - and some seeds if you like. I normally bake soda breads free-form, but I decided to try this one in a loaf pan. As I was making it, Wayne finished off a container of crackers, the only thing left was a couple of tablespoons of seeds, so I sprinkled those across the top of the bread, just before baking, to give it a crunchy crust.

Oat Soda Bread Recipe

The bread bakes up fragrant and a touch sweet from the oats. It is fantastic sliced and toasted along with a bowl of soup. Or slathered with jam and butter. Or with a creamy cheese and a sprinkling of herbs. I know I say it nearly every time I post a recipe like this, if you've never baked bread before, give it a go. Or if this doesn't look up your alley, you might find some ideas on Michael Ruhlman's blog right now. It's a great time of year for bread baking. Thanks again for the inspiration Jennifer :).

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Oat Soda Bread Recipe

I'm more likely to have rolled oats on hand than oat flour. So, like Jennifer, I instruct you to make your own oat flour below. But you can skip that step if you actually have oat flour in your pantry. As far as storage goes, loosely wrapped in parchment paper, this bread is great for a couple days.

butter, to grease pan
2 cups / 7 oz rolled oats

10 ounces / 285 g / ~2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and kneading

1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt

1 3/4 cups / 415 ml buttermilk, plus more if needed, and 2T. for brushing

mixed seeds - sesame, caraway, poppy, etc.

Preheat the oven to 400°F / 205°C with a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter and line a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan (or one with ~8 cup capacity) with parchment paper and set aside. Alternately, you can bake this bread without a pan, shaped like this, on a lightly floured baking sheet.

To make the oat flour, use a food processor to pulse the rolled oats a few times. Then process into a fine powder - another minute or two. If you are buying oat flour, not making your own, measure out 7 oz / scant 2 cups.

Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the flour and pour in the buttermilk. Stir just until everything comes together into a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead for 30 seconds or so, just long enough for the dough to come together into a cohesive, slightly flattened ball without many cracks or fissures. If your dough is on the dry side, add more buttermilk a small splash at a time. Now ease the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan - see photo if you need a bit of guidance.

Brush all over the top and sides with buttermilk and sprinkle generously with mixed seeds or flour, 2 tablespoons or so. Slice a few deep slashes across the top of the dough. Bake for about 30 minutes, then quickly (without letting all the hot air out of the oven), move the rack and the bread up a level, so the top of the bread gets nice and toasted. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until a hard crust forms and the bread is baked through. It will feel very solid and sound hollow when you knock on it. Carefully lift it out of the pan, in a timely fashion, and allow to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with a good slathering of salted butter.

Makes one loaf.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 50 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

I just made this bread this morning and substituted one cup of WW flour for the regular. Still turned out great. Wonderful with butter (we like unsalted) and honey. Probably rises a little more w/o the WW flour.

Kathy Ziegenmier

For those wanting to avoid wheat, I just made this substituting all-purpose flour with exact amount of spelt flour and it came out just fine.

Su

I made the rye flour soda bread from your new book. Homemade soda bread is traditional in Ireland and we would have had a couple of batches a week when I was growing up. By the time the oven heats up, you can have a batch ready to put in the oven. Although it is best eaten the day it is made, there is no better partner for smoked salmon than brown soda bread. I would not recommend adding sunflower seeds - they seem to react with the buttermilk and turn an unappetizing green, I've never added rye flour. Your recipe for rye soda bread was great in terms of flavour, texture and crust and loved by all the family. It also kept well for three days, a little better than regular soda bread.

Maggie

I make this almost every week (with all whole wheat flour - dense but tasty!). It's our staple recipe. Thank you so much!

Heather

Well I've never come across a recipe that I've had to run off and make right now before but this one's in the oven and smelling great. I added some ground almonds and peanuts (had a few knocking around that needed using up) and a teaspoon of honey so wish me luck!

Helen

Love this recipe! Better put, I LOVE all of your recipes. I have yet to make one of your recipes without "oohs" and "aahs" from family and friends. So simple and straightforward. I'm able to execute most of them in my apartment without a microwave, food processor, or blender. That makes me happy. I've made this soda bread twice now and both times my dough has started out extra dry, but nothing a few splashes of buttermilk couldn't bring together. Thanks for sharing your passion! Highly Inspirational to a 20-year-old natural foods nut.

Hannah

Thank you. Friends are still asking about this recipe. I made it last week and doubled the recipe. It was the hit of the party. The crunchy crust was perfect. HS: So happy to hear it Dorothy!

Dorothy

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