Irish Brown Soda Bread with Molasses

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Here’s a quick and easy recipe for St. Patrick’s day that I’ll bet you’ve got everything in your pantry to make: brown soda bread!

A good recipe for soda bread is a must-have recipe for homemade bread lovers like myself. The use of baking soda instead of yeast as a leavening agent really speeds up the bread-making process with the same gratifying results.

I’ve made traditional white soda bread many times over the years and we have enjoyed it every single time I’ve baked it. But, I came across this recipe for brown soda bread with molasses in a cookbook I found at a thrift store about two years ago.

The book is titled The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook and I’ve tried several recipes in it that have all been successful and yummy. This bread recipe is definitely the one I’ve used the most!

This rustic, free-form bread is super simple to make, but it looks pretty impressive when it comes out of the oven. (it’s safe to expect “oohs” and “ahhs”….and it’s totally okay to to take a bow!) Everyone will think you worked a lot harder than you will to bake this one up!

The dark molasses adds an amazing extra pop of flavor to this bread and the smell of this loaf baking is incredible. I mean… Off. The. Charts. (!!) Buttermilk + molasses = heaven!

As you can tell from the picture above, my kids (especially the 4-year old girl) can hardly wait for the bread to come out of the oven (and mostly they don’t). They really and truly love it.

I adapted the original recipe only very, very slightly by using white wheat flour in place of the whole wheat flour listed in the book. I make homemade white wheat sandwich bread fairly often, so I had that sort of flour on hand!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

Irish Brown Soda Bread                              printable recipe
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats or instant oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons dark molasses


1.  Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Mix the molasses into the buttermilk and stir well.
3. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk mixture into the bowl. Using a wooden spoon and then your hands, mix the ingredients together until they form into a shaggy dough. Turn the shaggy dough out on to a lightly floured surface.
4. Knead the bread with your palm until it comes together as a slightly smooth ball of dough. This should only take a minute or two. Shape the dough into a disk with sides that are about 2 inches in height.
5. Score the the bread in an even “X” shape on the top and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
6. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 and then lower the oven temperature to 400.  Bake for and additional 25 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly on a rack, but it’s delicious served warm!
8. Enjoy!


  1. Hi Vanessa! I'm so excited 🙂 Thank you so much! 🙂

  2. I am going to give this a try. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party. You are one of this coming Sunday features. Happy New Year

  3. I've been looking for a good soda bread recipe, and I like yours! I've never put oats in it before, but I imagine it's great, I'll totally try that next time. (cute helper, too ^^)

  4. I fell in love with Irish brown soda bread when we visited Ireland years ago. Yours looks just perfect—and like your helper, I'd be sneaking a sample of the dough, too!

  5. Hi Grace! Yes, my assistants come in handy most times! 🙂

  6. Hi David, I hope you enjoy it. Thank you!

  7. Irish soda bread is on my list of things to make…your bread turned out great.

  8. Love quick breads, and Irish Soda Bread might be the best of them all. THis looks fantastic! Thanks so much.

  9. looks just perfect to me! so nice to have a kitchen "helper"… 🙂

  10. I love all varieties of soda bread… can't wait to try this one!

  11. Oh yum, I should finally make this myself, looks amazing☺

  12. Hi Susan, I really hope you like it! Thank you!

  13. Hi Angie, it really does smell great! Thank you! 🙂

  14. Irish soda bread is one bread I have still yet to make at home! I'm saving your recipe for my first try 🙂 It looks and sounds wonderful.

  15. Soda bread is for sure my favourite quick bread. This must have smelled heavenly while it bakes!

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