Oat Soda Bread

Oat Soda Bread Recipe

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 :).

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

  • heidi, i have been following your blog for a little over a year now. i purchased your book after my first 2 weeks of reading your posts. i am one of those finiky people with a special diet (blood type diet who has to make what seem to be miraculous substitutes for something semi-similar taste to its superior original. All of this to say when i eat grains, i predominately eat oats. i was excited by this post, but wondering if you think a substitute of plain yogurt for the buttermilk, spelt for the all-purpose, and bread machine vs. oven? thank you so dearly and great boomerang metaphor- loved it!

    brittany morgan
  • This loaf looks marvelous! The recipe is simpler than I would have thought. Thanks for sharing.

    Elle (Bromography)
  • My MIL makes the best soda bread for St. Patrick's Day. I love it and await it every year. I like this version with oats. I appreciate how you always add highly nutritional ingredients to your recipes.

    Nisrine | Dinners & Dreams
  • My MIL makes the best soda bread for St. Patrick's Day. I love it and await it every year. I like this version with oats. I appreciate how you always add highly nutritional ingredients to your recipes.

    Nisrine | Dinners & Dreams
  • My MIL makes the best soda bread for St. Patrick's Day. I love it and await it every year. I like this version with oats. I appreciate how you always add highly nutritional ingredients to your recipes.

    Nisrine | Dinners & Dreams
  • My MIL makes the best soda bread for St. Patrick's Day. I love it and await it every year. I like this version with oats. I appreciate how you always add highly nutritional ingredients to your recipes.

    Nisrine | Dinners & Dreams
  • I have made soda breads a couple of times and I love adding whole grains. Raisins are a nice addition too. This oat version looks awesome. It would pair well with homemade peach jam from this summer. Love the seeds on top. Nice and rustic!

    Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet
  • Wow, this looks so simple and delicious! I've got some wonderful 00 whole wheat flour that would work very well for an oat-y soda bread, I think. And I'll bet you could portion this off into really wonderful dinner rolls, too.

    Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks
  • Every time I make soda bread, it is almost by accident. I start making a pot of soup, then find myself with some idle time. I always have the basic ingredients for soda bread, so I throw it together, toss in the oven, then enjoy it with my soup. In my mind, that is the perfect day. Thanks for sharing another version :)

    DessertForTwo
  • Looks fantastic! How great to have home-baked bread that fast! (I recently saved a bunch of seeds from the bottom of a package of rolls that came home with me after a party - glad to know I'm not the only one who saves stuff like that!)

    Stephanie
  • Looks great! We're heading into a big snowstorm here in NY, and this bread seems just the thing to make. I have two questions: You indicate 2 cups of rolled oats, but then say that if your using flour, use a scant two cups. Wouldn't 2 cups of rolled oats blend down to much less than a scant two cups of flour. There is no volume measurement for flour. Can you add it in? Thanks for a wonderful blog! I love your cooking approach, your photographs, and all your recipes. HS: Will do Bella, its about 2 1/4 cups apf. I'll update it. And you would think the oats would blend down much more, but mine really didn't. But if your dough ends up too tacky just add a bit more flour, too dry add a bit more buttermilk. It's pretty forgiving. Hope you enjoy it.

    Bella
  • It just dawned on me that it's called soda bread bc it's made with baking soda!? Silly me. I will definitely give this a shot ... it's yeast breads that have it out for me ;) I love that you use oat flour. What a healthy bread this it ! Must make this ASAP.

    mary (what's cookin' with mary)
  • It looks wonderful, I can't wait to try it! Homemade bread is far better than store bought, and the smell that lingers is worth the process.

    sweet road
  • Homemade bread is always the best- no question about that! It sounds so simple, too. Even better!

    Blog is the New Black
  • I love the short ingredient list. I'm on a bread-baking kick right now so I'm sure I'll be making this soon!

    Teri [a foodie stays fit]
  • I've never come across bread like this before. This looks great for a quick weeknight accompaniment to the dinner table.

    LimeCake
  • Love it. Baking bread at home is far superior to anything store-bought! This sounds and looks fantastic.

    Sagan
  • looks like a must-do, weeknight bread! and you're right--oats & soda bread seem a natural. thanks for posting!

    burkie
  • This looks too simple! I rarely have buttermilk on hand, and so what I've done in the past is to use regular milk, but add in some lemon juice and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Works like a charm. I don't measure the lemon juice - a few squirts. Good tip regarding moving the bread closer to the top during baking!

    Liz (Simple Italian Cooking)
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