Brown Soda Bread

An easy and flavorful quick bread
1 hour 20 minutes Total Time
15 minutes to prep
35 minutes to cook
30 minutes to cool
6 servings

I make this simple bread a lot. It is one of the most flavorful quick bread recipes I've tried. The wheat adds a lot of flavor and this bread pairs nicely with many soups and stews.  It is much faster than making a yeasted bread. It is a little denser than yeast bread, but not too much. The butter brushed on after cooking adds a lot of flavor, so we eat this bread plain.

I make this so often that I started to premix the dry ingredients in amounts that will make four smaller loaves. I freeze the mix in baggies so it is super easy to make on-demand. The recipe is easy without this step, but it is nice not to have to pull out all the dry ingredients when you want to make a loaf. 

This recipe has been adapted just slightly from a Cook's Country recipe that made a loaf twice as big. Leftovers can be frozen and are good re-heated, but even a smaller loaf is more than we need for two meals, so a half recipe works better for us. 

If you like this bread and want to make it more often, try premixing the dry ingredients and storing 4 portions separately. Then you only need 3 ingredients: a bag of mix, buttermilk, and butter. 

Dry mix recipe

If you want to have buttermilk on hand for cooking, it can be frozen. I freeze it in the amounts needed for this recipe when I make the dry mix. When using frozen buttermilk, defrost it and then shake vigorously before mixing it with the other ingredients. 

Toasted wheat germ is important to the recipe and can be found in the cereal aisle at most grocery stores, usually near the oatmeal. 



Ingredients with an * are listed more than once.


  • Gather and prep ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400°.
    Step 0
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Whisk them thoroughly, and whisk a little longer than you might think you need to ensure that everything is distributed evenly. I try to whisk for at least 30 seconds. Or, if you have previously mixed up the dry mix, dump one baggie of the mixture into a bowl.
    Step 1
  • Add buttermilk and melted butter to the bowl. Stir to combine with a spatula until the dry bits are mostly incorporated into a dough. There will be bits of dry dough left.
    Step 2
  • Turn out the dough onto a clean counter or board. It will be shaggy and not quite cohesive.
    Step 3
  • Knead the dough lightly until it forms a ball. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pat into a loaf that is about 7" long and 4" wide.
    Step 4
  • With a sharp knife, cut a shallow X through the top of the dough. Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until bread is browned and internal temperature is 195°.
    Step 5
  • Remove bread from oven. Brush top of the loaf with melted butter. Let the bread cool for at least 30 minutes.
    Step 6
  • Serve. Leftover bread is best stored in the freezer wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and reheated in a 300° oven. I leave it in the foil when reheating. Unfrozen leftovers are not as good as the first day, but I will eat the bread toasted with peanut butter.
    Step 7

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