Brown Soda Bread

Brown Bread 1

Right, time to take a break from the Indian recipes – this blog is turning more “peshwari naan” than “toasted special”…

Subscribers will know that I’m a rather reluctant baker. I can’t stand shaping sticky dough or pastry so I tend to gravitate towards simple breads and cakes that I can mix and throw into a tin before baking. I like this recipe because there’s no shaping necessary – just mix the dry and wet ingredients separately, combine and pour into a greased loaf tin.

I’ve been making my own brown soda bread for years and have tried countless recipes. This originally started off as a Darina Allen recipe (taken from a GoodFood magazine) but I’ve taken on board Richard Corrigan’s suggestion of adding porridge oats and treacle to give a richer flavour and colour. (Do try Corrigan’s soda bread recipe also, it’s very rich and delicious. Probably more suited to dinner than breakfast as it’s so heavy on the salt and sugar. Great with a creamy potato and leek soup.)

You could also add wheatgerm, extra bran or sunflower seeds to this for a change.


  • 225g coarse wholemeal flour
  • 225g plain white flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½ tsp sea salt
  • 450ml buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil (or 25g butter)
  • 1 tbsp treacle


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C.
  2. Sift the white flour into a large mixing bowl along with the salt and bicarbonate of soda. Add the wholemeal flour and use your hands to give the flour a good mixing.
  3. Add the egg, sunflower oil (or butter) and treacle to the buttermilk in a measuring jug. Mix well.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently and quickly. The dough will be quite wet.
  5. Transfer to a greased 2lb loaf tin and bake for about 1 hour, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Wrap in a tea-towel (prevents the loaf from drying out) and leave to cool a little before cutting. Coat with butter and serve with a few rashers. 😉

For more (yeast-free) Irish bread recipes, check out my Soda Bread and Griddle Bread posts.



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