oatmeal soda bread

with st. patrick’s day coming up, i expect more people would want to prepare something irish, be it corned beef, cabbage, or soda bread.  much of the “irish soda bread” found in the states is more like a quick bread with raisins or currents.  the traditional soda bread is much more plain and savory.  the best thing about soda breads is the instant gratification.  you only need about one hour before you can pull a hot loaf of bread out of your oven.  when this is bread is fresh and hot, i really only like a slathering of salted creamy butter, but i am sure it pairs well with cheeses and jams.  i would try to eat this bread all in one day as it does not keep well.

oat soda bread

from 101 cookbooks

this recipe uses oat flour (easy to make if you have a blender or food processor) but you can certainly use all wheat flour.  a generous sprinkling of seeds on top adds visual interest and a crunchy crust.

2 cups rolled oats

2.25 cups all purpose flour or a mix of all purpose and whole wheat flours, plus more for the board

1.75 tsp baking soda

1.25 tsp fine salt

1.75 cups buttermilk or a mixture of milk and some plain yogurt

mix of seeds (i used sunflower seeds, rolled oats, crushed flax, and sesame seeds to top)

preheat oven to 400 degrees.  grease a loaf pan or a pan with 8 cup capacity or bake a round loaf on a sheet pan.

in a food processor or blender, process the oats until they turn into flour.  combine the flours, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  make a well and add the buttermilk.  stir until the dough comes together and turn the dough out on to a floured board and knead until it just comes together (maybe 30 seconds to 1 minute).  shape the loaf and transfer to your pan.  brush with a bit more buttermilk and sprinkle on your seeds.  make a couple slashes and bake for 30 minutes at the middle of the oven and then another 20 minutes at the top of the oven.  it should be very crusty and sound hollow when you knock on it.  remove from pan and cool briefly and eat!



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