Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ballymaloe Oatmeal Soda Bread

Ballymaloe Oatmeal Soda Bread
 Ok, are you ready for one more soda bread? This one is from Darina Allen, owner and founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland.  She is also an internationally known Irish chef, food writer, and TV personality.
This soda bread is quite different from any other I have made.  Oatmeal is processed in a food processor until a fine crumb.  It is then mixed in a bowl with buttermilk and left to steep overnight.  The recipe has been on my radar, since I featured Darina in a post chronicling Gourmet Lives list of the 50 Women Game Changers. She was # 39 on the list.  You can see my post on Darina here.  I have been a fan ever since I traveled to Ireland, and read about Myrtle Allen’s Ballymaloe House. Unfortunately, I never got to visit there.
This bread is beautiful to look at, but it’s the taste that will get you! Completely different in texture than other soda breads I’ve made. This loaf is less cake like and more rustic.   Just one bite, and you will be in Irish heaven.

Slathered with some Irish butter…YUM!

Because the oatmeal has to steep for at least 12 hours, plan ahead if you intend to make it.  This loaf is so worth the wait.

Oatmeal Soda Bread

I found this recipe on the Food Network site.  I changed the baking time to 30-40 minutes and increased the temp. to 400〫The original Ballymaloe Oatmeal Soda Bread can be found here.


2 1/2 cups oatmeal
2 cups buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
>Flour for dusting
1/2 teaspoon butter


In a mini-food processor, fitted with a metal blade, pulse the oatmeal until the meal is very fine. Remove from the processor and turn into a mixing bowl. Stir the buttermilk into the oats and cover with plastic wrap. Let the oatmeal steep in the buttermilk for 12 hours.

In a mixing bowl, sift the other ingredients together. Stir in the steeped oatmeal and mix well. If the mixture is too wet add a little more flour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with the butter.

Lightly dust the work surface with some flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and knead the dough a couple of times to form a soft ball like shape. Press the dough into a round about 2 inches thick. Using a sharp knife, make a criss-cross cut into the bread. Place the bread in the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown, about  30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve the bread warm with butter.

Oats…processed to a fine meal.  Put them into a bowl,  add the buttermilk and steep for at least 12 hours
This dough was a bit hard to knead together…it was very thick…I added a bit more buttermilk as I added the flour…knead the dough a few times and place into baking dish
Beautiful Oatmeal Soda Bread
A piece of Irish Heaven!


  1. It turned out perfectly! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  2. LOVE this, Kathy! I'm pinning so I can try it soon!!

  3. You are right: it is lovely to look at. :P Happy St Patrick's!

  4. What a wonderful looking soda bread my friend :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. I feel kind of bad that i didn't make ANY irish sodabread this year! I need to make this loaf as a kind of belated celebratory breakfast!

  6. Kathy I have to confess I never enjoyed sodabread nor was I ever tempted to bake one. But I do think I could enjoy this one. I will most certainly give this one a try.

  7. The soda bread has turned out beautiful, Kathy.

  8. I do love oatmeal in most anything--this bread looks delicious. We have cold weather later this week--perfect for stew and a slice of this bread. I'll plan ahead (I'm not always good about that!)

  9. Oh, this one looks good too! I love the idea of using oatmeal.

  10. What a pretty soda bread! The texture is so different and I can imagine how delicious it must be with the oatmeal. I am bookmarking this to give it a try.

    Hi, Kathy! Thank you for your comment about IFBC. I hope to make it to Seattle, but will have to see about those dates. It sure would be wonderful to meet you and all the other Doristas!

  11. Kathy, you are so right! It is a piece of Irish heaven. Both versions of your Irish Soda breads are incredible, moist and delicious. I will certainly try this version with the oatmeal. Both Lora and I made Irish Soda bread Friday, and Saturday, and they were gone within an hour each time we made them...that was the one with the raisins, but I do love this version you made so much, and it is so easy to make it. Thanks for sharing, my dear friend! xo

  12. This really sounds authentic and lovely. I have to give this recipe a try. I hope you had a great St. Patrick's Day. Enjoy the rest of the week. Blessings...Mary

  13. I love soda bread - maybe because it's actually easy! Just perfect, Kathy. A liittle Irish butter and I have dinner.

  14. Kathy, a picture perfect Irish, authentic looking Soda Bread - pure bliss!

  15. This soda bread looks fabulous...I wish I could lift off one of those buttered slices and eat it right now. I have to stop looking at your blog when I am does no end of damage to my willpower!

  16. Thank you for sharing this wonderful bread recipe! I baked the bread last week and we loved it. I toasted the oats before grinding them and the flavor was great.