Most Irish Soda Bread recipes are rather doughy heavy breads with a thick crust that is dry and doesn’t keep well. The flavor is usually lacking complexity. When our chef was developing this recipe, she wanted to have a softer crumb with full flavor that would last a few days.
The oats soaked in buttermilk, butter, and sugar added flavor without making the bread too sweet. The butter helped produce a soft loaf that wasn’t overly rich. Walnuts lend a creamy texture and added complimentary flavor to the bread. In this bread, we use our Whole White Wheat All-Purpose Blend Flour. It is fifty-five percent whole wheat flour and gives this bread the wholesome goodness of whole grain while still retaining white flour’s light texture.
Oatmeal-Walnut Soda Bread
2 ½ cups rolled oats, divided
2 cups buttermilk
3 cups Panhandle Milling Whole White Wheat All-Purpose Blend Flour, plus more for work surface
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 ½ tsp. salt
¼ cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup walnuts, toasted in a pan over medium heat, stirring, until just fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes
Wash and sanitize hands, tools, and work surfaces.
Soak 2 cups rolled oats in buttermilk for 30 minutes. Reserve ½ cup rolled oats for later.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Whisk flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. With a fork or fingertips, work the softened butter into the flour mixture until it is the coarse crumbs’ texture.
Add the oat mixture to the flour mixture along with the walnuts. Stir until the dough comes together. Allow moisture to absorb into the dough, about 5 minutes. Place on a flour-coated work surface and knead 12-14 turns just until the dough is bumpy and cohesive (not smooth, or it will be tough).
Form dough into a 9-inch round boule about 2-inches high. Sprinkle or mist with a little water and coat with the remaining oatmeal. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Cut a cross shape on the top and bake until browned and internal temperature reads 180°F, 45-55 minutes.
After baking, coat with the melted butter and allow to cool 30 minutes before slicing. Keep in an airtight container for best results. Serve within 3-5 days.