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Irish brown soda bread | ethnicspoon.com
4.63 from 8 votes

Irish Brown Bread Recipe

This traditional moist Irish brown bread is great with breakfast, slathered with butter or a healthy dollop of jam.

Course Bread
Cuisine Irish
Keyword baking, butter milk, easy, no rise, no yeast, quick bread, soda bread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: Change to adjust-> 12 people
Calories 187 kcal



  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients: both fours, oats, salt and baking soda.  Mix thoroughly all the dry ingredients. 

  3. Whisk buttermilk and molasses. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  Pour in the buttermilk mixture.

  4. Using a fork or spatula, stir gradually until combined. 

  5. With floured hands, knead into a ball. 

  6. Shape the dough into a circle and place on a lined baking sheet. Press flat to about 2 inches thick. It will form a round loaf about 8 inches in diameter.

  7. With a sharp knife cut a deep cross on top of the ball.

  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes at 450°F. Reduce the heat to 400°F then bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until the bottom of the bread sounds hollow when tapped. 

Recipe Notes

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How long can I store the Irish brown bread? You can keep this at room temperature for about 4-5 day. Keep it sealed in a container or zip-top bag to prevent drying.
  • Can I freeze Irish brown bread? Yes, I actually like to freeze slices or even the whole loaf. Be sure to freeze in airtight freezer bags and it stores nicely for up to 3 months.
  • How do I know when the Irish brown is done when baking? When you tap on the bottom it should sound hollow. Take it from the oven with mitts and I usually use a spoon because it is hot and it if sounds hollow and not a dense "thud" it is done.
  • Why did my loaf not fully bake in the middle? Be sure to flatten the loaf to about 2 inches and the diameter will be about 8 inches around. This helps the middle bake better and it will rise in the oven. Be sure your dough is not too wet to begin with. It should just come together and form a ball.
  • Can I add other flavors? Sure, some readers have added 3 tablespoons of ground flax seed or a bit of honey to the dough with good success. I would add the honey to the wet ingredients before blending.
  • Which oats do I use? I would use whole rolled oats, not the quick oats that are partially pre-cooked. The rolled oats will have more texture.
  • What if I don't  have buttermilk?  You can quickly and easily make buttermilk from whole milk or 2% milk.  Add 1 Tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice or distilled white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Let this sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to curdle.  This recipe calls for 1 and ¾ cup buttermilk so use 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp in 1 and ¾ cups of milk.
Nutrition Facts
Irish Brown Bread Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 187 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 434mg19%
Potassium 203mg6%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 60IU1%
Calcium 59mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.