Mar 11, 2013

Irish soda bread with wild blueberries

The hint of spring we experienced this weekend made me look forward to the summer ahead, and our annual trip to Downeast Maine. And from there it wasn’t a big jump for me to think about baking something with blueberries. However, I’m seriously cutting back on sweets – so my usual muffins were out. It had to be something a bit more on the savory side.

So with St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought I’d try a riff on my whole-grain Irish soda bread. I stepped away from tradition with the addition of dried Maine blueberries and olive oil. I also used a combination of Greek yogurt and skim milk instead of the usual buttermilk. Worked like a charm, and added protein to boot.

Best of all, this bread is chock full of whole grains including steel-cut oats and toasted wheat germ. And there’s very little sugar – so enjoy it without guilt.

Irish Soda Bread with Wild Blueberries

3 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
¾ cup steel-cut oats
¼ cup toasted wheat germ
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup nonfat greek yogurt
1 cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons molasses (I used blackstrap)
1 tablespoon sugar
¾ cup dried wild blueberries

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the flour, oats, wehat germ, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the yogurt, milk, olive oil, molasses and sugar. Stir into the dry mixture along with the blueberries, mixing only until the dough just comes together. Transfer to a floured surface and gently form into a round loaf.

Place on a lightly greased cast iron skillet or baking sheet (if you use a skillet, the loaf shouldn’t be quite as large as the pan.) Score a deep X in the top of the dough. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when you tap the bottom. Cool before slicing.

See more recipes: Baked goods and desserts


  • Philip B

    Hi Cathy–
    Thanks for this, and all the recipes.
    I’m confused by “white whole wheat flour.” There’s white flour, and then there’s whole wheat flour. Or do I have AP vs. Whole Wheat confused with Bleached vs. Not ???


  • Hi Phillip. There is actually such a thing as “white whole wheat flour”! You’ll find it in stores now pretty commonly. It’s got all the nutrition of whole wheat but is lighter in baking.

  • Philip B

    Yes – thank you. A brief search found:

    “Q. What is whole white wheat?

    A. White wheat is a different type of wheat that has no major genes for bran color (unlike traditional “red” wheat which has one to three bran color genes). An easy way to think of it is as a sort of albino wheat. The bran of white wheat is not only lighter in color but it’s also milder in flavor, making whole white wheat more appealing to many people accustomed to the taste of refined flour.

    The term “white flour” has often been used to mean “refined flour,” so “whole white wheat flour” sounds like a contradiction in terms. But it is simply WHOLE flour – including the bran, germ and endosperm – made from WHITE wheat.”

    even more info at:

  • Todd K

    Faith and Begorrah, but that’s some fine soda bread! Thanks for sharing!

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Thanks, Todd!

  • Jennifer F

    Cathy – this sounds so delicious. I have been gluten free for about 9 months now, but have not done much baking. Any suggestions on Gluten Free flour substitutions?

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Hi Jennifer. I’m not an expert on gluten-free baking – but maybe you could follow what they do in this recipe:

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