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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Your soda bread looks great! I first learned about soda bread during and 8th grade St. Patrick's Day party. My friend's mother taught me to make a version with whole wheat flour, buttermilk, and currants. Despite its simplicity, it's one of my very favorite breads.

A Teenage Gourmet

oh and on the wholewheat flour - i'd say most soda bread is normally about 75% wholewheat - definitely better that way!


pinhead oatmeal is a standard ingredient in soda bread in ireland - to such an extent that ive no idea what other uses it actually has!


I have recently decided to eat all of my bread homemade, thanks for the recipe!! Your pictures are fabulous! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Soda bread is my all-time favourite with a lovely slab of salted butter :) This looks absolutely lovely and wholesome, thank you.

foodie and the chef

Oh wow, I love the simple list of ingredients and the perfect results! Looks great!

Simply Life

Usually, the only thing that keeps me from making my own bread is lack of time. You're suggesting a bread though that takes an hour from start to finish! I can't say no to that. I've never tried soda bread before so I'll give this a try. By the way, you are so right about the ping pong culture that is the internet. That's why I love it. Bouncing ideas off of each other is one great thing.

my little expat kitchen

Yeah, its possible.If you're asking for a recipe, though, i don't have one... Sorry. But i have made some, and you can just Google it, and look through a bunch of them! I don't know how else you'd find one, but you will! it's for sure possible.

Stem Cell Therapy Cream

Wow, so few ingredients and it looks so simple to make! I love seedy, oaty bread, so will definitely give this a go.

Jessica @ bake me away!

Looks delicious. Very wholesome and hearty. I bet it tastes great with a bit of peanut butter


Before getting to the end of the post, I was already going to write, "I never bake bread but this just might convince me to," Then you kindly suggested the same. Perfect.


It does seem like the perfect time of year for baking bread. I'll put this recipe on my list!


This looks amazing and so simple, does it really taste as good as it looks? I am always looking for bread recipes with a crustier crust!

Amy @ allhailhoneybees

I love any recipe with a short ingredient list and I loveee carbs so this is speaking to me! looks fantastic!

Christine @ The Pantry Drawer

If there's buttermilk and oats involved...I'm in! Buttermilk in quick breads is just "my thing"...I keep it on hand at all times! thanks for another beautiful post... cathy b. @ brightbakes

Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes

I'm out of all purpose flour, but I have white bread flour, whole wheat flour, and whole wheat pastry flour. I feel like I read that pastry flour works best with soda breads, but I think subbing all whole wheat might make it too heavy. Think half whole wheat pastry flour and half while bread flour would work?


Oh, I absolutely love the look and sound of this! I can't believe it's (almost) mid-January and I haven't baked bread yet since the cold season started. This might be just the ticket!


Heidi, This bread looks delish, a must try. I like easy breads. BTW-I made your granola bars (which I, and my family, have become addicted to every since I started reading your blog) and took them with me on my first trip out to Big Sur. It was on my Top 25 places to travel list, and man was it worth it. Absolutely beautiful. We also made a stop in Carmel, Monterey, and San Francisco. Beautiful country. Just thought I would let you know as you inspired me to travel to Big Sur with your post about the granola bars! So thanks!


Heidi—tag you're it! The thanks goes to you for including such an easy and most importantly delicious recipe in Super Natural Every Day. I see dozens of new books each week, but your's was truly a page-turner. I know I mentioned the cranberry nut I made recently. I also just ground some fresh pistachios to use this "base" as a springboard to making a Sicilian pistachio sweet bread, since it has a pretty dense crumb. I'd wish you lots of luck when the book comes out, but you won't need it—the recipes speak for themselves.


Oh how I love homemade bread! Your bread is beautiful.

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}

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