Brown Soda Bread on St. Patrick’s Day

Irish Soda Bread is one of the most simple, quick bread recipes you can make. It requires no yeast, takes less than five minutes to prepare and can be easily adapted as a high-fiber recipe. The story goes that St. Patrick was holding a piece of soda bread in his hand as he drove the snakes out of Ireland…whether or not this is true, traditional Irish Soda Bread has only four ingredients:

  • Flour
  • Baking soda
  • Buttermilk
  • Salt

Here’s a recipe that is a little doctored, with added oatmeal and whole wheat flour to increase overall fiber content:

Brown Soda Bread

Recipe by Margaret M. Johnson from The Irish Spirit: Recipes Inspired by the Legendary Drinks of Ireland (Chronicle Books, 2007).

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon McCann’s quick-cooking (not instant) Irish oatmeal
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the whole-wheat flour and 1 cup of the oats. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk and egg. With a wooden spoon stir until the mixture forms a soft dough. With floured hands, form the dough into two rounds. Transfer the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining one tablespoon oatmeal. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops are browned. Remove from the oven and let the loaves cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Analysis

Makes 2 loaves (12 servings), per serving:

  • 185 calories
  • 1.5 grams fat
  • 36 grams carbohydrate
  • 3.3 grams fiber
  • 8 grams protein