Oaty Brown Sugar Soda Bread

April 3, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: A whole-grain, Dutch-oven loaf to make whenever a bread craving strikes. (So, all the time!) This recipe was inspired by and adapted from Eat Up! by Ruby Tandoh. If you can't find whole-milk kefir, you can replace with whole-milk yogurt (thinned, if necessary) or whole-milk buttermilk. Either way, you want something full-fat, so the bread is tender and fluffy, not dry and crumbly. Serve with salted butter and jam, or cream cheese and smoked fish. Emma Laperruque

Food52 Review: Featured in: An Oaty, Dutch-Oven Bread to Make on a Moment’s Notice The Editors

Makes: 1 loaf


  • 2 1/2 cups (400 grams) whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup (120 grams) rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 cups (423 grams) whole-milk kefir
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a 4-quart (or close enough!) Dutch oven with parchment. It doesn’t need to fit perfectly.
  2. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Break up the brown sugar with your fingers to get rid of any lumps. Whisk everything together until smooth. Switch to a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and slowly add the kefir, stirring as you do, just until a cohesive dough forms. It will be sticky.
  3. Scrape the dough into the Dutch oven and spread to even out. Use a small serrated knife to cut an X, about 1/2 inch deep, in the center. Cover the pot and get it in the oven.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 5. The bread should be springy to the touch. Cool in the pot until you can grab the bread without burning yourself. Transfer to a rack to cool.

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Reviews (4) Questions (0)

4 Reviews

Madison S. May 9, 2018
Do you think it would work if I replaced the kefir with coconut milk or cream?
Author Comment
Emma L. May 9, 2018
You need something acidic to active the baking soda, so I'd try coconut yogurt first—or, coconut milk mixed with some vinegar or citrus juice.
Mary April 9, 2018
How would this turn out using gluten free flour? Any ideas?
Author Comment
Emma L. April 9, 2018
I haven't tried a gluten-free version of this recipe but, because the loaf depends so much on the wheat flour (and its gluten), I have a feeling it would turn out very different—probably denser, not as fluffy.