Irish Brown Soda Bread {Wheaten Bread} is a dense quick bread that is made with whole wheat flour and bran with old-fashioned oats baked in on top. Try my Beer Bread for another flavorful quickbread.

Irish Soda Bread on a Cutting Board from Overhead
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Irish Brown Soda Bread

Irish Brown Soda Bread, also referred to as Wheaten Bread or Brown Bread, is crusty and hearty bread. It pairs well with foods from soups to stews to cheeses to just a layer of salted butter. Yes, it can be fun to eat on St. Patrick’s Day, but this bread can be enjoyed year-round!

Steps for Scoring and Adding Oats to Irish Soda Bread

Bread Ingredients

Flour: A traditional Irish brown bread will use wholemeal. We did not have access to wholemeal at the time, so I used whole wheat flour with some added bran for substance and earthiness.

Bran: Bran is an excellent source of fiber. Plus, it helps with digestion and heart health.

Leavening Agents: This bread is a quickbread, meaning there is no yeast used to make it rise. However, both baking soda and baking powder are used in this recipe. The baking soda reacts with the buttermilk to give the bread its rise.

Buttermilk: Buttermilk is a standard ingredient in Irish Soda Bread recipes. If you don’t have any on hand, make your own homemade buttermilk.

Cut Into Irish Soda Bread Showing Texture Inside

Irish Soda Bread vs. Brown Soda Bread

There are some similarities between Irish Soda Bread and Irish Brown Soda Bread {Wheaten Bread}. Neither loaves of bread use yeast to rise and they both are made with buttermilk reacting to baking soda. This chemical reaction was important in Ireland, where the wheat grown is so soft, it doesn’t work well with yeast.

However, there are plenty of differences. One difference is the flavor; Irish soda bread is generally a little sweeter, more like a scone, and made with white flour. Brown bread, on the other hand, is more savory with a nuttier flavor. It is usually made with wholemeal, but I used whole wheat flour and bran in this recipe.

Hand Holding Piece of Irish Soda Bread with Butter Melting on It

How to Store

Store the bread in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. To freeze, let the baked bread cool completely. Then, wrap in plastic wrap, followed by storing in a freezer-safe container. Be sure to label and date the freezer-safe container; the bread can be frozen for up to 3 months.

More Quick Breads

Irish Soda Bread

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Irish Soda Bread is a dense quick bread that is made with whole wheat flour and bran with old-fashioned oats baked in on top.


  • 3 cups (360 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup bran
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • cups (367 g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon old fashioned oats


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, bran, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Whisk together.
  • In a separate bowl combine buttermilk and egg. Whisk to combine.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk mixture into the well. Use a wooden spoon to gradually incorporate the wet and the dry ingredients together.
  • Knead the mixture in the bowl until smooth (if the mixture is too wet, you can add flour a teaspoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.)
  • Shape the dough into a round ball and place it on the lined baking sheet. Flatten the dough to about 2 inches in height.
  • Use a knife to score a cross shape on the top of the bread loaf. Sprinkle oats on top.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes. The bread is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Or, the internal temperature of the bread is 180°F.
  • Let cool before cutting and serving.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Does this call for wheat bran, or is oat bran okay? None of the stores around me carry wheat bran, so I’ve ordered some, but curious for future.

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