Other than potatoes, nothing is more synonymous with Irish food than brown bread, which is exactly what food blogger and recipe developer Kylee Scales from Kylee’s Kitchen is making for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s served with most meals for just about every occasion. 

Brown bread is a simple, quick bread, meaning it doesn’t have yeast. Its leavening comes from baking soda and buttermilk, hence the name. These breads became popular in Ireland when baking soda was introduced in the 19th century because it was cheaper than yeast.

Filled with whole grains and oats, it’s a pretty healthy bread to serve your family.

It’s best when served with dill sauce and salmon, which is how Kylee is showcasing the bread, which makes the perfect appetizer!

Irish brown soda bread

  • Yield: 1 loaf, about 12 slices
  • Time: About 45 minutes


For the bread

  • 150 grams whole wheat flour
  • 100 grams rolled oats
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • 4 grams (1 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 400 milliliters (1 2/3 cups) buttermilk
  • 30 grams (2 Tablespoons) molasses
  • 28 grams (2 Tablespoons) melted butter, cooled
  • Additional rolled oats for topping if desired

For the dill sauce

  • 30 grams (2 Tablespoons) dijon mustard
  • 30 grams (2 Tablespoons) sour cream
  • 15 grams (1 Tablespoon) whole grain mustard
  • 15 milliliters (1 Tablespoon) white wine vinegar
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) molasses
  • 20 grams shallot, minced
  • 10 grams fresh dill fronds, minced
  • For serving: lox, gravlax, or smoked salmon


For the bread

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease an 8½ x 4½ x 2½-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, mix flour, oats, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In separate bowl, mix buttermilk, molasses, and melted butter.
  4. Make a well in center of flour mixture, and pour buttermilk mixture into center of well
  5. Gently mix dry and wet ingredients together, being careful not to overmix.
  6. Scrape dough into bread pan and smooth top. Pan will be filled halfway.
  7. Place in oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes, until internal temperature registers around 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

For the dill sauce

  1. Mix both mustards and sour cream. Mix in vinegar and molasses. Add in shallot and dill fronds.
  2. Serve by spreading layer of dill sauce onto slice of brown bread. Top with salmon slices.