Brown Soda Bread with Steel Cut Oats


  • 2 1/2 cups sifted, whole wheat flour (11 1/4 ounces)–see note
  • 1/2 cup sifted, all-purpose flour (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling on top
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal (could substitute pecan meal or wheat germ if you don’t have flax)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 1 1/2-quart round baking dish or 9×5-inch loaf pan very well. (I like to also line with parchment paper. The pan needs to be well oiled for easy removal the bread.)
  2. As I mentioned, when baking, I really like to weigh ingredients, especially flour. It really makes the process go so much faster–just pour into mixing bowl and there are fewer dishes to wash! Importantly, it also eliminates the tendency to get too much flour in the measuring cup, leading to a heavier baked good. So, weigh or carefully measure the flours into a large mixing bowl. Add oats, sugar, flax meal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly, then make a little well in the middle to pour your wet ingredients. Combine buttermilk and egg. Pour into well in dry ingredients and blend, folding carefully until mixture is just combined. Avoid over-mixing: this will improve the texture of the finished product.
  3. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, then sprinkle with reserved steel cut oats. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. The last time I made this, I used a round casserole and it took exactly 55 minutes in my oven. All ovens vary a little, so I always check on baked goods a few minutes early so I don’t overcook and dry them out. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then remove to a wire rack.
  4. Bread tastes great warm or cooled, with or without butter. I also adore it leftover, toasted and topped with strawberry jam!


  • When I weigh the flour in this recipe, I don’t bother sifting anymore. The simple weight chart provides conversions for sifted and non-sifted flour, and since you can just pour the flour, it stays light and fluffy!

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