• Irish Oaten Rolls (Whole Wheat Beer Bread)


    In the cookbook Nigella Kitchen, Nigella makes these into individual scone-like rolls, but she also gives directions on how to make it into one large loaf.  I chose not to follow the directions and baked it in a loaf pan.  While most of the loaf came out perfect, the very center was a little undercooked and gummy.  I suggest just following her directions.  Also, I used my Kitchenaid mixer, but the dough attachment did not work well with this batter.  I suggest stirring by wooden spoon or using the regular beater for your mixer.  Excellent fresh out of the oven with strawberry jam.


    • 2 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant), plus 2 teaspoons
    • 1 teaspoon table salt
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 1/4 cups Guinness (or your preferred beer)
    • 2/3 cup buttermilk
    • 1/4 cup peanut oil or other oil
    • 1/4 cup honey


    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
    2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    3. In a bowl, mix the flour, oats, salt, and baking soda.
    4. In a separate bowl, mix the beer, buttermilk, oil, and honey.  For ease, measure out the oil and then the honey.  The oil lining will stop the honey from sticking to the cup measure.  Stir the liquids together.
    5. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
    6. Pat into small handfuls to form 12 mounds on the lined cookie sheet; don’t bother to shape them until all 12 are laid out and you can see which rolls need to have dough pinched off and which need to be bulked up, so that htey are more or less of even size.  When you’ve finished, pat each into a rough round roll shape about 3 inches diameter by 1 – 1 1/4 inches high.
    7. Sprinkle the remaining 2 teaspoons oats over the rolls (a fat pinch each) and pop them into the oven for 15 minutes then transfer, 1 by 1 to a wire rack to cool just a little.  Eat warm, or leave to reach room temperature.  Soda bread is always best eaten on the day of baking, though reheating or toasting can revive a roll or slice of bread a day or two later.

    Note:  Turn this into a loaf by forming it into one large round, and baking it for 10 minutes at 425 degrees before turning down the oven to 375 degrees and giving it another 25 minutes.  When cooked, it’ll give a faintly hollow sound if you knock with your knuckles against the underside.


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