Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

by Anne Bennett on March 13, 2010

Soda bread has been a staple of the Irish table since 1840, when bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, was introduced there. The traditional ingredients are flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk; regional loafs can contain added ingredients such as butter, raisins or whole wheat (called wholemeal in Ireland).


This recipe, adapted from Cooking Light, contains both whole wheat flour and steel-cut oats. If you’re not partial to nubbiness you can leave out the oats, but I think they give the bread a great texture. Traditionally, loaves are baked free-form in a round shape with a cross slashed on top. ┬áThis one is baked in a 9″ X 5″ bread pan, which makes slices easier to toast later on.

Of course, this is the perfect bread to serve on St. Patrick’s Day with corned beef and cabbage, but don’t stop there. It’s also good with soup, or toasted in the morning with a bit of butter and jam. I made a PB & J with it yesterday. Talk about “filling food”!

11.25 oz. whole wheat flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
2.25 oz. all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup steel cut oats
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. wheat germ
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 cups low fat buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Coat a 9″ X 5″ loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.

Combine flours with oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Gently beat egg and buttermilk together. Add to dry ingredients and stir only until just combined. Spoon into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack.

Makes 12 thick slices

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mary Franklin March 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm

On your Irish Soda Bread, the recipe calls for 1/2 is that cups or ounces of steel cut oats?

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