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 it every year when it’s St. Patrick’s Day in memory of my dad!
PIN Brown Irish Soda Bread to try it later!
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!
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!
Brown Irish Soda Bread
Brown Irish Soda Bread is made with whole wheat and white whole wheat flour and it’s a delicious bread recipe any time of year!
- 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.
23 Comments on “Brown Irish Soda Bread”
This is our favorite Soda Bread. The only tip I can offer is that chemically leavened breads should sit out at room temp for 30 minutes or so in the loaf pan following the mixing to allow the soda and powder to do their jobs.
Carrie, it sounds good but not very South Beach Diet friendly. (But it sounds like you already know that. No big deal for once a year though.)
This is the recipe that I use because it's the one my family loves…I did eat 1 slice on Thursday butI so wanted to eat more.:0)
Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
2.In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
3.Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 30 to 50 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.
Laura, good to know about the Splenda, although I wouldn't worry about this much brown sugar either. Thanks for sharing!
I made brown soda bread with King Arthurs White Whole Wheat flour, agave syrup, and safflower oil. It was quite good, although even better when I added in some candied orange rind and candied ginger and currants. I also made a batch with soy milk (curdled with a bit of cider vinegar) and the results were nearly identical to the batches made with buttermilk.
BTW, I don't think using Splenda would make much of a difference–there is so little sweetener in your recipe that it probably has a negligible affect on texture.
Oh I love this! I would really like to try it for a nice healthy breakfast bread for our family. I think for the whole wheat flour, I will use our favorite Kamut Khorasan Wheat flour which is incredibly healthy!
I make soda bread at least once a week and have for years – so easy. I use yogurt and milk in mine – 'cause I can'g get butternilk. Works fine. Your's looks yummy.
Isn't everyone "slightly Irish"? Especially when it comes to soda bread. Slainte! xox
I am so happy to see a whole wheat version of soda bread. I would love to perch an egg, sunnyside-up, on top of this for breakfast.
soda bread is one of my favorites! this recipe looks tasty!
Splenda Brown Sugar Blend is just a mixture of equal parts Splenda and brown sugar. I think it's really overpriced when you can just mix your own.
In this recipe, I wasn't sure how using Splenda would affect the rising of the bread, and the amount of brown sugar was minimal so that's why I just used brown sugar. (It may not matter since the bread has no yeast, but I'm not a good enough baker to know just how it would affect it.)
If you never have leftovers, I'd say that's a good recipe! Share the link if you have blogged about it.
I'm not a SB dieter, so I have to ask — is the Splenda Brown Sugar Blend a no-no?
I use a recipe in the Bread Machine — it cheats and has some yeast in it, but I also add in raisins and caraway seeds. It may not be authentic, but I never have to wrap leftovers!
Great healthy St. Patrick's Day recipe! I've been on the look out for some festive recipes for the upcoming holiday.
Aw gee Daryl, I love it when you call me brilliant. I have do admit, it worked like a charm.
The idea of grating the frozen butter is nothing short of brilliant. I dont use butter too often and usually keep it in the freezer and now I know how to make life alot easier.
I love your healthier version. Great for breakfast!
Wow – Erin Go Healthy and Delicious!
Irish soda bread was the very first bread I made when I moved into my very first apartment, way back when. I loved the fact that it didn't require yeast (working with yeast scared me!) and that it was great with soup, which was the other thing I had taught myself how to make. I still love the combination of soda bread and soup, and I must admit that I sneak raisins into my soda bread, though I know that really isn't authentic.
I love soda bread. Can't wait to try this version!
I love that this uses 2 cups of buttermilk! Usually I'm left with almost a whole container whenever a recipe calls for it.
The bread looks great! Isn't it amazing the things that blogging gets us to do?