Oatmeal Walnut Soda Bread

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.