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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I am so totally drooling. Thank you for this recipe. I've been making a lot of bread recently (variations on pizza dough bread sticks actually) but had somehow forgotten all about quick breads. The yeast will be put away for today. Bring on the soda!

Chris @ Cook the Story

Hi, great simple recipe. Do you think rice milk would work just as well? Even if I added lemon juice as Liz (Simple Italian Cooking) suggested? Or just go for yoghurt? Thanks

Bake Club

Do you think I could substitute Kafir for the buttermilk?


when I make my usual soda bread (using Nick Malgieri's recipe), I usually add 1/4 cup or so of steel-cut oats, which gives a nice texture. And since I practically never have buttermilk, I use half Straus plain yogurt and half regular milk. Works great.


This looks and sounds so delish. I'm definitely making it this weekend. I can't wait for the book!


This looks amazing. I am currently travelling in India and there are some good bakeries here, but this makes me long for home.


I was just saying I wanted to make an oat bread today! I just made this, while it's a bit hearty for this warm New Zealand summer day, it was so delightful I forgave it. I don't have a food processor, but the quick cook oats added a nice texture. Subbed milk and lemon juice for buttermilk which turned out fine. I also added some honey since we just harvested some from our hive in the backyard, it added a nice sweetness that complimented the oat and salt nicely. Also added the honey to the salted butter at the end and I'm afraid that all those things mean the loaf won't be around for long now that my housemates got to it. Thanks!


You should check out Cook's Illustrated. They have an awesome recipe for Irish soda bread made with oatmeal, walnuts. whole wheat flour and buttermilk.


This is great inspiration. I love your website. Thanks!

Laura Plumb

That looks amazing.. I have all of the ingredients here to try it.

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day

The bread was amazing and truly easy to make. Thank you for the recipe.


I just pulled a loaf of this bread out of my oven-my whole house smells delicious. I threw in a handful of sunflower seeds and used part half-and-half and part milk with lemon as that's what I had on hand. So so GOOD. Can't wait for the new book to come out!


Delicious! I mixed dried buttermilk powder with the dry ingredients, and then added water instead of buttermilk. My dough was too wet and sticky to knead (and I was too lazy to add more flour), but the bread still turned out great! I'm eager to try it with fresh buttermilk or yogurt next time.


this was the perfect complement to the white bean and kale stew i had planned for dinner! glad i had bought some oat flour last week in hopes of making kim boyce's ginger peach muffins! as a side note: i made my bread into a free-form loaf, and found that the cooking time was a little shorter than you suggested.


Oh, this looks great. One thing I might try--based on the fabulousness of my favorite muffin recipe from the _Fannie Farmer Cookbook_ (Irish Oatmeal Muffins), is to soak the rolled oats right in the buttermilk for a few hours rather than grinding them into flour. I feel an experiment coming on!


What is that brown lining you have in the pan? I'm very, very new to baking...meaning I suppose I should know what this is. Do I have to use it? Thanks! Michele


Di: Baking soda is the same as bicarbonate of soda. Baking powder is bicarbonate of soda with acid added so it will work in recipes with no added acids. The buttermilk in this recipe supplies acid, so the baking soda works on its own. I usually like making yeast breads, but this looks good enough to revisit soda bread.


Delish! I love soda bread, and this looks perfect!


You are wonderfully creative and inspiring - thank you so much for all your delicious recipes! Just, I know baking powder and I know bicarbonate of soda. So what is baking soda?


Is there a way to make this dairy free, without the buttermilk?


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