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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All I can think is: Yiiipppppiiieeeeee!


I love soda bread, but have never made it with oats before. This looks delicious. Will def have to try this recipe!

Happy When Not Hungry

hi! greetings from Austria! I tried your recipe and its going to be a wonderful bread. its in the oven at the moment. I hadn't buttermilk, so I mixed milk an yoghurt. Hope it works!


Delicious! This just might be the thing to cure my impatience when making sourdough!

Jessica @ My Recipe Project

This bread will lift my family and I out of the deep freeze today. I plan on serving this with an old-fashioned beef stew. Yum!

Betsy (hiltonheadfoodie)

I'm a huge fan of Irish Soda Breads. There just the perfect thing for sopping up soup! I really love the oat twist. Toss in a few raisins and its a full breakfast in its own right! Thanks for sharing!


This looks impossibly delicious. Any bread with that many seeds on it wins my heart. Can imagine it warm with glops of melting butter and it's kind of breaking my heart. Yum.


Hello, I have 2 questions: 1. Can we substitute baking soda with baking powder? 2. Or can we use yeast instead? Thanks.


Hi Heidi, I really enjoy your posts. I always received them on my yahoo home page whenever you updated a new post. I don't know what happened, but I no longer get them. The last one I got was for Green Bean Slaw. Any ideas on how I can get them to post again?


My mouth is watering just thinking about this bread! The chewy texture of oats and the slight bitterness of soda bread sound so perfect together.


Your six seed soda bread changed my life so I guess I'll have to try this! :)


mmm, my husband loves soda bread and this one looks amazing. love the hearty oats!


Soda bread is one of my absolute favorites to make. Exactly because your reasons too; who can resist homemade bread in under an hour! I'll have to make this version next time!


Heidi this looks great. I am on a homemade bread drive this year and this is definitely winging its way into my list of 'must try' breads--so simple and looks delicious!


Love this idea! I've never made soda bread; it might have to be this weekend's baking project, with a few experimental elements thrown in :)


This looks amazing and hearty! I can't wait to try this out!


this soda bread is completely calling my name...i can just picture it now with a melting slab of butter!

Heather (Heather's Dish)

I keep seeing soda bread recipes where the dough is firm enough to knead - my recipe is adapted from a farmers' market cookbook from Ireland and is much more of a wet dough that you pour into a pan like zucchini bread. It's really high in fiber too, thanks to the addition of pinhead oats, whole wheat flour, and wheat bran, which I love!

Cooking with Michele

This looks really simple and delicious! I think I might make it on this snow day.


I do love a good bread recipe. Usually I do naturally leavened rather than chemically, but this might be worth a shot!

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

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