Homemade Irish Oat Bread makes delicious, hearty bread that is perfect for toast and sandwiches. Full of Irish oats, also known as steel cut oats that add a nutty flavor and nubby texture. Our delicious whole grain bread is the perfect balance of flavors that will get your home smelling cozy and welcoming.
We are walking you through the entire process for how to prepare the steel cut oats and create a beautifully light but structured loaf. This recipe is sure to become a favorite for your family.
Cool temperatures encourage heating up the stove for homemade baked goods. Fresh Homemade French Bread and this Irish Oat bread are just a few of the warm baked goods we enjoy when the cook is in the kitchen.
What makes an Irish Oat Bread?
Traditional Irish breads are soda breads made with white or whole wheat flour. Early Irish bakers reached for baking soda rather than yeast, because Irish flour was too soft to make a good yeast bread. To make an Irish Oat Bread, you simply add steel cut oats which are hearty and strong and give the bread structure.
The Irish Oat Bread adds so much flavor it is a great loaf to use for sandwiches. The structure provides a strong base that will hold in your sandwich fixings. You can even use it for hot sandwiches like our Italian Stuffed Meatloaf Sandwich.
This homemade bread slices are large compared to store bought bread size. Half of a sandwich is often more than enough to fill you up making it a great sandwich to split over a bowl of warm soup. Whole grain breads like this one are filling and full of slow digesting fiber that will keep you satisfied and sustained.
What is the secret to making good bread?
Making good homemade bread does take practice, but it is actually a very simple process that is rewarding and inventive. Below we are sharing our advice as a general rule of thumb for successful bread making.
- Be sure to follow the directions. Bakers know their methods and will guide you along.
- Use fresh, high quality ingredients, especially your flour and yeast.
- Learn how to tell when gluten is properly developed by using the windowpane test.
- Learn how to correctly rise and form loaves. A poor rise will affect the texture and density of a loaf of bread.
Experience is the best teacher in bread baking. There are plenty of educational resources these days. YouTube, blogs like this one, and good books!
One of our blogger friends, Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories is a master bread baker and a great resource. If you feel like really getting into the bread baking craft she has lots of inspiration and bread baking tips.
Whole Grain Porridge Breads
This multi grain bread recipe uses steel cut oats as the whole grain. The recipe uses an all purpose bread flour and is actually a porridge bread. The whole grain is soaked and added in rather than milled through a grain mill.
Once you get used to making this oat bread you can experiment with soaking and adding in other grains with the Irish oats. You can also add nuts and seeds but don’t get too carried away. You want a good balance of texture in your bread or it will get stiff and too dry.
Irish Oat Bread Recipe Notes
This recipe comes from the book, ‘Baking Bread, Old and new Traditions by Beth Hensperger.
Beth’s book on breads are informative and in depth. She covers, equipment, ingredients, and techniques for making homemade bread. She also has a huge quantity of recipes and stunning photographs to entice you to greatness.
Today’s recipe is an adaptation of one of our favorite bread recipes in her book. This homemade Honey Oat Bread is a longtime favorite in our family which is why we are sharing it with you.
Tips for working with sticky yeast doughs
This is a nubby dough, but also soft and a bit sticky. We use coconut oil when working with my yeast breads by smearing it on the counter and hands when working with the dough. It helps release the sticky dough.
We like coconut oil better than flour to keep the dough workable because my work surface is a lot cleaner, and the bread dough does not absorb the flour and get too dry by baking time.
We also grease the rise bowl with coconut oil. It’s the slipperiest oil with no stickiness of its own to cause trouble.
Tips for making this Irish Oat Bread
- You must soften the oats before proceeding with this recipe. When properly softened; instant steel cut oats offer a pleasant, slightly textured, nutty flavor addition to your bread.
- If you are committed to butter in your baking just substitute unsalted butter one to one for the coconut oil called for in this recipe. Avocado oil is also a fine oil for this bread.
- A dough scraper set is a really nice help for bread bakers. They don’t cost much and help a great deal handling sticky bread dough in the bowl and on the work table.
- Rise the dough at 70 degrees to 90 degrees. The oven bread proofing function is great for this if you have one.
High Altitude suggestions (with a bread machine)
Our Reader, Karen, made this recipe at 6,000 feet She messaged me through email. We had a fantastic conversation. She is a stellar cook! Here are her suggestions if you are also baking at high altitude.
“I made the bread twice. I don’t have a stand mixer. The first time I used AP flour & did the whole thing in my bread machine. Disaster! I didn’t reduce the yeast enough. it didn’t bake all the way through and completely filled my machine to the brink. Too much dough. Yuck. Bread dough all over the machine. I decided to try again. I reduced the yeast (again) and the water. I also drained residual water from the oats. Then, I used bread flour and the machine just for mixing the dough. These loaves came out well. This has good flavor. I’m keeping the recipe! I might half the recipe next time.”
Here are the changes Karen made for baking this recipe at 6035ft
- I reduced the hot water for the oats by about 2 tablespoons. After the oats softened I put them into a strainer.
- I mixed the dry ingredients together.
- I mixed the oil, buttermilk, water and honey in a measuring cup and heated it to 115 degrees F.
- I stirred the eggs into the liquids one at a time.
- I put about half of the oats into the bread maker pan and stirred the rest into the flour mixture.
- I poured the liquids over oats in the pan, then spooned in the flour mixture.
- I made a well in the flour and put in 3 1/8 tablespoon of yeast. I then set the machine to dough cycle.
“This makes a lot of dough and it was crowning even on dough cycle. I won’t even mention what it did on the full cycle. At the end of the cycle I removed the dough, punched it down and put it into 2 loaf pans. I covered them and let them rise again 30 minutes. Baked them 375° for 35 minutes, but should have baked them slightly longer. It tastes good. I am tenacious/stubborn. I had to get this worked out for my own sake. After all the recipes I looked at, yours was the one that sounded the best.”
Your Printable Recipe:
Irish Oat Bread Homemade Recipe
Homemade Irish Oat Bread makes delicious bread with butter, toast and sandwiches. Organic quick Irish oats add a nutty flavor and nubby texture for a heavenly, healthy, homemade bread.
- 1 1/2 Cups Boiling water
- 1 Cup Instant Irish oats, Steel Cut Oats
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
- Pinch sugar
- 1/4 Cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F.
- 1/4 Cup warm Buttermilk, 105 to 115 degrees F.(I used heavy cream with one Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar and let it sit until curdled)
- 1/3 Cup raw honey
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, You'll need more for oiling the pans, work surface and bread raising bowl.
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tsp. salt
- 4 1/2 to 5 Cups Organic unbleached bread flour
- In a small bowl, pour boiling water over the steel cut oats and let them sit an hour until all the water is absorbed and the oats are soft. (DON"T skip this step!)
- In your stand mixer bowl, sprinkle the yeast and pinch of sugar over the water. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy (about 5 to 10 minutes).
- In a small bowl or stand mixer, whisk together buttermilk, honey, and coconut oil. Warm to 110 degrees and pour over the yeast. Add the eggs, salt, and 1 cup of the flour. Beat with a whisk until smooth (about one to three minutes on low in my stand mixer).
- Add the softened oats to the yeast mixture. With a dough hook on your stand mixer (a heavy wooden spoon if you're mixing by hand), add in the flour in 1/2 Cup batches until a soft, sticky dough is formed that just clears the side of the bowl.
- If using a stand mixer continue mixing until the gluten is formed (check the dough with the 'window pane test'), about 10 minutes. If kneading by hand, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until a springy, soft dough is formed. Adding flour one tablespoon at a time as necessary to prevent sticking.
- The dough will have a knubby and slightly tacky feel, it should pass the windowpane* test!
- THEN: form the dough into a ball, place into a greased, deep bowl. Turn the dough ball once to oil it up and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour or so.
- ONCE RISEN:
- Turn the dough onto the work surface. Divide it into three equal portions and form into round loaves OR, divide it into two equal portions and form it into loaves for 9 X 5 inch loaf pans.
- Place the round boules onto a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Or Form into two loaves and place in two greased bread pans as shown.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk. About 30 to 40 minutes.
- Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pans to cooling rack, and let cool to room temperature before slicing.
*Windowpane test is done by taking a golf ball size lump of dough and stretching it between your hands until you can see light through it WITHOUT breaking the dough. This shows you the gluten is properly formed and you are done with kneading.
HIGH ALTITUDE RECOMMENDATIONS using a bread machine from a reader are in our post if you need them.
Serving Size1 slice
Amount Per Serving Calories 198Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 25mgSodium 124mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 7g
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This recipe is linked at the hearth and soul Blog Hop
Tuesday 25th of February 2020
Hi, I want to try this recipe but have an important flour question. I bake a lot of bread and inthe bread world I am very familiar with all purpose flour and bread flour.....two different types of flour that bakers commonly use. My question is what is “all purpose bread flour”? Is it a combo of all purpose and bread flour? I am unfamiliar with this term.
Tuesday 25th of February 2020
Hi Judy, Thanks for asking. I have updated the recipe to make it more clear. I used the term all purpose bread flour to mean any good bread flour will work in this recipe. I also bake other breads. Some of them require more specific types of bread flour with a higher protein content. I'm sorry for the confusion.Happy Baking! Please let us now how this recipe works out for you.
Monday 21st of May 2018
I made this bread again, but I cut the recipe in half (it makes a LOT) and I also substituted some oat flour for the AP flour. This can be made by grinding oatmeal into a powder.) The oat flour was scrumptious! YUM YUM YUM.
Monday 21st of May 2018
Hi Karen, Did you prefer it with the extra oat flour? How did it work out in your bread maker this time?
Thursday 3rd of May 2018
Thank you for your quick response! I'm sorry, I just need a bit more clarification... The recipe does say 3T And 2T coconut oil.however, the directions say to add the honey,oil and coconut oil... Is there a different type of oil used in addition to the coconut oil? Why not just say 5T if that is what is needed?
Thursday 3rd of May 2018
Hi Karen, I agree the instructions need clarification. MANY people have made this bread and commented it worked out great for them in forums and on some of the pinterest pins. You are the first person to raise this question since posting. SO I am making it today. I will vet the instructions for you. Maybe by the time you feel better I will have this detail nailed down. Thank for bringing this to my attention. Lol. I have been making sourdough for this last year and got out of touch with this recipe. Looking forward to making it!
Wednesday 2nd of May 2018
The recipe says 3T of coconut oil AND 2T coconut oil... How much actually goes into the bread dough? 5T? What adjustment would you make for high elevation? I would prefer to use a bread machine for time reasons. Any hints/tips?
Wednesday 2nd of May 2018
Hi Karen, This article by Better Homes and Garden can help you with converting this recipe to a bread machine. I have never used one. I found this article from King Arthur Flour about the challenges of baking at high altitude with some helps and good links for further reading if you need them. As to the oil called for in this recipe. Yes, use all 5 Tablespoons as directed. Thank you for your questions. I hope this helps. Have a great day.
Monday 5th of June 2017
Any directions on making this recipe in a bread machine?
Monday 5th of June 2017
Hi Ginger, I have never owned or operated a bread machine. But I did find this article by Better Homes and Gardens that may help you. Good luck and we'd love to know how it turns out for you!