St. Paddy’s Day always makes me think of soda bread, though the oatmeal in this recipe gives this version a distinctly Scottish tone. It’s a cheesy bread, more like a moist oatcake held together by yeasty strings of cheese, and heaven with a cup of tea or as an accompaniment to a hearty bowl of soup at dinner. (And if you really want to assemble a cheese plate that is next level, add some thin slices of this bread for spreading with chutney or membrillo.) It’s so easy – no yeast, rising, or proofing to wait on. I used the handle of a wooden spoon to make indentations in the top of the bread just before baking, to make breaking it into wedges that much easier when it’s done. It’s beautiful – like something from a Dutch still life – and it makes the kitchen smell like home.
Oatmeal Cheddar Bread
Prep time: 45 minutes
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 2/3 cups rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup grated sharp cheese
- 1 ¾ cups buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Mix flour, 2/3 of the oats, baking soda, sea salt, and cheese in a large bowl and combine well.
- In a separate bowl mix buttermilk and honey until smooth. Pour into the flour mixture and mix well with your hands. Shape into a ball, flatten a bit and coat with melted butter.
- Roll the loaf in the remaining oats and place on baking sheet. With the handle of a wooden spoon, mark our six triangular portions and press down firmly to make an impression in the dough.
- Bake for 30 minutes until bread sounds hollow when knocked on from underneath. Allow to cool before breaking up into portions.