Brown Irish Soda Bread
This Brown Irish Soda Bread is made with a combination of whole wheat and white whole wheat flour and it’s delicious and easy-to-make! And it’s a bit of a splurge on carbs, but I have to make this Irish Brown Bread every year when it’s St. Patrick’s Day in memory of my dad!
Irish Soda Bread is one of those dishes that everyone in America associates with St. Patrick’s Day, and you’ll find many variations on the recipe, even though soda bread in Ireland traditionally contains only flour, baking soda, salt, and sour milk or buttermilk. Probably we should be calling our bread Irish American Soda Bread, but no matter what you call it, this Brown Irish Soda Bread is easy to make and delicious.
For my Irish Soda Bread Recipe I used a combination of white whole wheat and whole wheat flour with added wheat bran and wheat germ to make it relatively healthy, and in the updated recipe I switched out the brown sugar for Golden Monkfruit Sweetener.
And this is the second variation of Irish Soda Bread to show up here, although when I started this blog, I’d never dreamed of making Irish Soda Bread. Then I started hearing about it, and found out my partly-Irish father loved it, and during the last years of his life I made it for him every year on St. Patrick’s day. And I’ve been making it every year since then, and I don’t mind a slight splurge on carbs for a holiday tradition like this one..
(White Whole Wheat and Oatmeal Irish Soda Bread was my first soda bread recipe; you can use that link to see the printer-friendly recipe if you’d like to try that one.)
What ingredients do you need?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- White Whole Wheat Flour (affiliate link)
- Whole Wheat Flour (affiliate link)
- toasted wheat bran
- toasted wheat germ
- oatmeal (I used oatmeal “crumbs” ground in the food processor)
- Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link)
- baking soda
Why is this type of bread called Soda Bread?
The only leavening ingredient in this bread is baking soda, which is why it’s called soda bread! Some people also call this Irish Brown Bread, take your choice on that!
Want more ideas for healthy bread?
I’m more of a cook than a baker, but I do have some more ideas for tasty breads, including low-carb almond flour breads. You can find them in the index for Desserts and Baking.
More Irish Soda Bread from my blogging friends:
I learned about Irish Soda Bread in the early days of my blog, and here are more ideas for Irish Soda Bread from some early blogging friends:
- Irish Soda Bread from Andrea Meyers
- Irish Soda Bread from The Perfect Pantry
- Caraway Soda Bread from Simply Recipes
- Irish Soda Bread Muffins from Kitchen Parade
- Irish Soda Bread Scones from Smitten Kitchen
How to Make Brown Irish Soda Bread:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Mix together White Whole Wheat Flour (affiliate link), Whole Wheat Flour (affiliate link), toasted wheat bran, wheat germ, oatmeal crumbs, Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link), baking soda, and salt.
- The recipe called for cutting the butter into tiny pieces, but my butter was frozen so I peeled the wrapped butter down to the 2 T mark and grated it with the large side of a grater. This worked really well.
- Here’s how the grated butter looked before I mixed it in with my fingers.
- Pinch the butter into the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Measure out 2 cups of buttermilk, then add it by half cups until the mixture becomes a loose dough. (In Utah where it’s very dry I used the entire 2 cups of buttermilk, but you might not need it all.)
- Here’s how my dough looked after the buttermilk was all mixed in.
- Scrape the dough into a 9 inch x 5 inch x 3 inch loaf pan that you’ve sprayed with olive oil or nonstick spray. (I smoothed the top down with my fingers but later I thought that maybe I shouldn’t have!)
- Here’s how my Brown Soda Bread looked after it baked for 43 minutes at 425F/220C. Let it cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes, then eat warm.
More Irish American Foods:
Check out Low-Carb and Keto Irish-Inspired Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day to see other favorites I used to make for my slightly-Irish dad!
- 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 3 T toasted wheat bran
- 3 T toasted wheat germ
- 2 T oatmeal (I used oatmeal “crumbs” that had been ground in the food processor)
- 2 T Golden Monkfruit sweetener
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt (I used fine grind sea salt)
- 2 T cold butter, either cut into small cubes or grated on the large side of a cheese grater
- 2 cups buttermilk (you may not need it all, but measure out 2 cups just in case)
- Preheat oven to 425F/220C.
- Spray a 9 inch x 5 inch x 3 inch loaf pan with olive oil or nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the White Whole Wheat Flour (affiliate link), Whole Wheat Flour (affiliate link), toasted wheat bran, wheat germ, oatmeal crumbs, Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link), baking soda, and salt. Mix together well
- Cut butter into small cubes or grate with the large side of a cheese grater, then add butter to the flour mixture.
- Wash and dry your hands, then use your fingers to pinch the butter into the flour until it’s well combined and the mixture resembles coarsely ground cornmeal.
- Measure out 2 cups of buttermilk.
- Add buttermilk to the flour/butter mixture 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each 1/2 cup of buttermilk is added.
- Keep adding buttermilk until you have a loose dough. (Depending on where you live and how dry your flour is, you may not need all the buttermilk.)
- Scrape the dough into the sprayed loaf pan.
- Bake until the bread is very brown and a toothpick inserted into the very center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. (I baked the bread in these photos for exactly 43 minutes.)
- Run a knife around the edge of the pan and tip bread out onto a cooling rack and let it cool 10-15 minutes on rack before cutting.
Irish soda bread can be eaten hot, and it also makes wonderful toast. This type of brown soda bread with a little butter in the recipe will keep a little longer than some types of Irish soda bread, but it’s still best eaten the day you make it or the next day.
Recipe adapted slightly from The Bon Appetit Cookbook.
Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 311mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Brown Irish Soda Bread is obviously not suitable for a strict low-carb diet, but it’s relatively low-glycemic and original South Beach Diet friendly and probably not a huge carb splurge for a holiday dish, especially if you’re Irish and it’s St. Patrick’s day!
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Desserts and Baking to find more bread recipes. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
Brown Irish Soda Bread was first posted in 2010. I’ve been making it ever since, and the recipe was last updated with more information in 2023.