Toasted Oat Soda Bread

If you have never baked bread before, a traditional Irish soda bread is a really good place to start. It is ‘raised’ with bicarbonate soda rather than yeast so there is no need to wait for it to prove and it’s pretty difficult to get it wrong. Toasting the oats before adding them gives them a darker color and a nutty flavor that really works well here. It is especially delicious served with the Raspberry chia jam recipe in the previous post.

  • flavourless oil, e.g groundnut for greasing
  • 125g rolled oats, plus extra for scattering
  • 275ml boiling water
  • 200ml buttermilk plus a little extra for brushing
  • 150ml skimmed milk
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 400g wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius or gas mark 6. Grease a 23cm non-stick cake tin with a little oil.
  • Scatter the oats over a baking tray and place in the oven for 30 mins turning occasionally. The oats should become nutty and dark in colour.
  • Tip the browned oats straight into a large bowl and pour over the boiling water. Leave the oats to soak until the water has cooled completely.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees/gas mark 4
  • Add the buttermilk and milk to the oats and water, then beat until thoroughly incorporated. Beat in the bicarbonate of soda, flour and salt until fully mixed.
  • Tip the mixture into the cake tin and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Quickly remove from the oven, brush with a little buttermilk, then scatter over a small handful of oats and return to the oven for a further 30 mins. If the breadis colouring too much, cover with tin foil for the remaining time.
  • Leave the bread to cool completely in the tin, then when cool enough to handle,tip it out and serve.


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