A twist on traditional Irish soda bread, this walnut oatmeal sweet Irish soda bread recipe is slightly sweet and nutty, with a dense texture that pairs perfectly with a creamy slathering of butter. Try it as a meal side or as breakfast with a hot cup of coffee or tea!
Sweet Irish Soda Bread
We’ve been eating a lot of homemade bread around here lately, mainly the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes variety because it’s SO. DARN. EASY… But I’ve really been wanting to try my hand at a good Irish soda bread for a while now.
You see, on a visit to Washington D.C. several years ago, I had the most wonderful walnut oatmeal soda bread at a quaint little restaurant near the Capitol Building. I’ve always wanted to recreate it, but tracking down a recipe proved to be quite the challenge.
So when I stumbled across a recipe in The Boston Globe that sounded like it could be similar, I immediately added some buttermilk to my grocery shopping list to give it a try. And I’m happy to say it does not disappoint! Slightly sweet and nutty, with a dense texture that’s the perfect pairing for a creamy, slathering of butter, it works well as a meal side or as breakfast or a snack with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
Buttermilk + Oatmeal Soda Bread
Traditional Irish soda bread recipes call for only four ingredients: flour, buttermilk, baking soda and salt. While this recipe has a few additional ingredients, it still comes together fairly quickly — that is once you’ve soaked the oatmeal in the buttermilk.
Be sure to note that you ONLY soak part of the oatmeal! Soaking it all is a surefire way to derail this recipe from the start. Ask me how I know…
How To Make Irish Soda Bread
While the oatmeal is soaking in the buttermilk, you can start prepping the dry ingredients so they’re ready to go. Whisk together the various flours, remaining oatmeal, brown sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Then work two tablespoons of softened butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. At the end of the soaking period, stir the oatmeal/buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, and it’s time to knead the dough.
The soda bread dough is kneaded just until it comes together. Don’t worry if it’s still be a bit lumpy and shaggy — this is perfectly normal. Form it into a 6-inch round disc and slice an X in the top of it with a serrated knife. I love my silicone baking mat for this part, because it makes it so simple to gauge the size of your dough, and nothing sticks to it!
This walnut soda bread can be baked on a baking sheet, or you can choose to bake it in a cast iron skillet, which is the method I choose. Just be careful of that hot handle when removing it from the oven!
Oatmeal Soda Bread with Sweet Irish Butter
If you have the inclination, a little homemade butter is divine on this sweet Irish soda bread when it’s warm, right out of the oven! But a sweet Irish butter, like Kerrygold, is also an excellent choice. However you top it, it’s definitely a recipe that you’ll want to make well beyond St. Patrick’s Day!
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How Long Will Irish Soda Bread Keep?
Irish soda bread can dry out quickly. Wrapped up tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, it will keep at room temperature for around 3-4 days. You can also freeze it to prevent it from getting stale.
How To Freeze Irish Soda Bread?
Yes, this sweet Irish soda bread freezes well! Simply wrap it tightly in aluminum foil, then place is in a gallon freezer storage bag. It will keep for 2-3 months. Thaw and reheat as desired.
How To Reheat Irish Soda Bread?
Remove the bread from the freezer, and allow it to thaw completely before unwrapping. After the bread has come to room temperature, you can pop it in the oven on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees.
P.S. If you’re looking for more St. Patrick’s Day ideas, this shamrock hair for girls is totally cute and easy to replicate!