My rendition of a traditional Irish oat bread, made with rolled oats, steel-cut oats and oat flour. It has a chewy, rustic texture that is wonderful for breakfasts, snacks, or alongside entrees of all kinds.
Chances are, you’ve come across recipes for overnight oats (for example, my version here on power hungry :)).
But what about overnight oat bread?
It’s real, it’s wonderful, and it’s based on a traditional Irish recipe.
It’s Irish Oat Scone Bread.
My version of this bread is based on a recipe from a book given to me by my husband years ago, called The Irish Baking Book (by Ruth Isabel Ross). I’ve only made the original version of her oat bread a couple of times, having since adapted it (e.g., US measurements, smaller quantity, and more). But my updated version has the same chewy, hearty oat goodness of the original.
Oats are the only grain in the recipe, and they are used three ways:
*Oat flour (made from the rolled oats)
This trio of oats produce the signature nubby, dense, chewy texture (which is sooo good with a smear of jam, or alongside a bowl of soup or crisp green salad).
The preparation is easy, but you do need to plan ahead, as the oats need to soak overnight. Mix all of the oats, along with salt, leavening, a smidge of (brown or coconut) sugar, and buttermilk (nondairy milk + vinegar or regular buttermilk if you prefer/drink dairy), and then spread in a greased or well-sprayed 8-inch baking pan. Loosely cover the pan and let sit overnight.
The next day, it looks like this:
Using a pastry cutter or a butter knife, cut the dough into 8 equal wedges, like so:
The original version of the bread calls for baking the bread in a cloche (to trap the steam–for a moist, springy bread– and to produce extra-browned edges).
Since a terra cotta cloche is less than standard in most kitchens, I tried several adaptations to create the same texture, including baking the bread in a Dutch oven. But I figured out an even simpler, less-cumbersome method that renders near-identical results: tightly cover the pan with foil for the first portion of the baking time (also, bake at a higher temperature at the start). Then, remove the foil and reduce the oven temperature for the remainder of time.
This is the golden yield:
That’s it! Rustic Irish bread, made with ease.
Variations for this bread are vast.
If you want a more tender bread, it’s as simple as adding some fat (replace several tablespoons–anywhere from 1 to 8– of the milk with melted coconut oil, avocado oil or vegan margarine, or butter or ghee if you eat dairy).
You can also go sweeter (more sugar, or add dried or fresh fruit to the mix…or chocolate chips!) or more savory (rosemary, black pepper, chopped parsley, you name it).
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, and happy baking!
Making this recipe? I would love to see it!
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- 1-3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, divided use
- ½ cup steel-cut oats
- 2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1-1/3 cups nondairy milk
- 1-1/2 teaspoons white or cider vinegar
- Grease or spray the bottom and sides of an 8-inch baking pan.
- Place ½ cup of the rolled oats in a food processor and process into a fine flour.
- In a large bowl, stir together the rolled oats, steel-cut oats, oat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the milk and vinegar, stirring until well blended.
- Spread the oat mixture in prepared pan, smoothing the top.
- Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 8 hours).
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Uncover pan and cut the dough (with pastry scraper or butter knife) into 8 equal wedges. Tightly cover the pan with foil. Bake, covered for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 375F. Open oven and (being careful of hot steam and hot pan) remove the foil from pan.
- Continue baking the bread for 38 to 45 minutes longer until the center is set (springs back when touched) and the edges are a deep golden brown. Cool at least 15 minutes on a cooling rack.
- Remove bread from pan and cut into wedges. Serve warm or cool completley.
Oats: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you have a specific gluten intolerance.
Variation: This bread has a rustic, chewy texture. For a more tender bread, replace some of the milk (anywhere from 1 to 8 tablespoons) with an equal amount of the fat of your choice (e.g., avocado oil, vegetable oil, melted vegan margarine, butter or ghee (if you eat dairy).