Beer Brewing Made Easy
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Brown Soda Bread

This brown soda bread is made with simple ingredients including flour, oats, eggs, and buttermilk (molasses optional) and is sorta like an Irish birthright. It’s authentic and traditional yet quick and easy.

There are about as many different recipes for brown soda bread as there are families in Ireland. We fancy this one for its lovely texture, sturdy crust, and nutty taste. Same goes for everyone who’s tried it and its accompanying feeling that this bread is a birthright, no matter your heritage. Because we guarantee you’re going to feel Irish when you try a slice. Originally published March 14, 2015.Renee Schettler Rossi

Brown Soda Bread

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes a 9-inch loaf or 12 rolls

Special Equipment: 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan or 12-cup muffin tin


  • 2 3/4 cups whole-wheat (wholemeal) flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons sunflower oil, plus more for the pan
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (optional)
  • 2 cups buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat), or plain yogurt or milk mixed with the juice of 1 lemon
  • Handful seeds or oats, for sprinkling
  • Butter, honey, preserves, or some other spreadable thing, for serving (optional)


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC) if making a loaf and 350°F (180°C) if making rolls. Lightly oil a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan or 12-cup muffin tin.
  • 2. Toss the flours, baking soda, salt, and oats in a large bowl and mix well.
  • 3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the oil. If a sweeter, darker bread is desired, add the 2 tablespoons molasses. Gently stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Then gently stir in the buttermilk. The mixture may be sticky.
  • 4. If making a single loaf, turn the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a wet spoon. Sprinkle some seeds or oats across the top, if desired, and then bake for 1 hour. After the hour has elapsed, remove the bread from the pan. If a crustier loaf of bread is desired, transfer the loaf to a baking sheet, return it to the oven, and bake for 20 minutes more. If making multiple rolls, spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 15 to 25 minutes.
  • 5. Allow the loaf or rolls to cool on a wire rack before serving. The brown soda bread is best when served with a schmear of butter, honey, preserves, or any combination thereof. It will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Brown Soda Bread Recipe © 2013 Kevin Dundon. Photo © 2013 Cristian Barnett. All rights reserved. All recipes and photos used with permission of the publisher.

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