Last summer I tried making bread for the first time, and was shocked by how well it turned out (I’d been scared of baking with yeast for forever). That kicked off a veritable bread-baking spree, where I tried all manner of artisan yeast breads. But for some reason I’ve only made soda bread once before now, a traditional Irish soda bread which I wanted to try after we went to Ireland and ate it there.
And yet, when I tried this recipe, it made me wonder why I ever bother with the finicky-ness and waiting of yeast breads.
This bread is totally easy and delicious. Now, to be fair, this isn’t authentic Irish soda bread, which only has four ingredients and definitely doesn’t have any sweeteners. But it still is soda bread, and there’s something special about it versus its yeast-based counterparts. Something about the chemistry of the ingredients (maybe the soda and buttermilk?) makes it moist and soft, much more resistant to drying out in the open air. Soda bread in its modern form became popular in the U.S. during colonial times because it was cheap, fast, and easy, and that’s still the case today.
That’s right—best of all? There’s no rising time for soda bread, so that means you can have hot, fresh bread within an hour or so of deciding you’re craving it.
So we’ve got an hour til you have fresh bread in your hot little hands. Start your engines…
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Generously spray or grease a bread pan or 1 1/2-quart round baking dish.
Stir together the flour oats, sugar, flax meal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Make a little well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Combine the buttermilk and egg in a separate bowl, then pour into the well in the dry ingredients and blend, folding carefully until mixture is just combined.
Avoid over-mixing the dough—this will improve the texture of the finished product. It’s okay for it to be shaggy and messy.
Spoon the mixture into your prepared pan, then sprinkle with the reserved oats.
Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Every oven varies a little, so be sure to start checking a little early just in case. Let it cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. We were too lazy for that, we just ate it straight out of the pan!
The flavor and texture of this bread was amazing, soft with just a hint of sweet. It was great plain, with butter, jam, or honey, fresh or leftover.
Brown Soda Bread with Steel Cut Oats
- 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of steel cut oats (I used quick oats), plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling on top
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of flax meal (could substitute pecan meal or wheat germ if you don’t have flax)
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt (if using table salt, use a little less since it has more sodium)
- 2 cups of low-fat buttermilk, well shaken
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 325 F and grease or spray a 1 1/2-quart round baking dish or 9×5-inch loaf pan very well (you could also line with parchment paper).
Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl, then add the oats, sugar, flax meal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly, then make a little well in the middle to pour in the your wet ingredients. Combine the buttermilk and egg in a separate bowl, then pour into the well in the dry ingredients and blend, folding carefully until mixture is just combined. Avoid over-mixing—this will improve the texture of the finished product.
Spoon the (shaggy, messy) mixture into your prepared pan, then sprinkle with the reserved oats. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. All ovens vary a little, so be sure to start checking a little early, just in case. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. I was lazy and served it in the pan.
Original recipe here