Irish Brown Bread

“When I would go to DeVere’s Irish Pub in Davis, they would often serve brown bread with their meals. Every year I do a traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage (and other vegetables) meal and this year I thought I might add some Irish Brown Bread to it. If I do say so myself, this brown bread recipes is far and away better than DeVere’s (I sure miss their Irish Bangers though!)” – April Ferre

Irish Brown Bread

Course: Quick Breads
Cuisine: Irish


  • 3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats Plus Extra for Garnish
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar Packed
  • 1 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 Cup Guinness Stout
  • 1/3 Cup Molasses


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with a 9-inch long sheet of parchment paper or foil that overhangs the long sides of the pan by an inch or two. These will be your handles to help get the loaf out of the pan. Spray loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Cut butter into small pieces and using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is in fine crumbs.
  • Add brown sugar and mix to combine. Since the brown sugar is packed, it won't mix well, so the pastry blender can help get it better incorporated.
  • In another medium bowl, combine wet ingredients. Whisk together until smooth.
  • Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon or a Danish dough whisk until just combined. Do not overmix! The dough will be dense.
  • Using a large spoon, transfer the batter to the greased loaf pan, spreading it in an even layer, and filling it to about an inch from the top.
  • You may have extra batter, if so, line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill with the rest of the batter until 3/4 full.
  • Sprinkle the top of the loaf and muffins with extra rolled oats and press slightly into the batter.
  • Bake muffins 12 to 15 minutes and loaves 50 to 55 minutes to an internal temperature of 190 degrees and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove bread to a wire rack and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Use the parchment paper handles to lift the bread out of the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. Slice and serve warm with Irish butter.
  • Store bread wrapped in foil and in a plastic bag at room temperature for 5 days. This bread freezes well.


Substitutions: You can substitute maple syrup (the real stuff) or honey for molasses. If you don’t want to buy a six-pack of Guinness, you can replace it with buttermilk. Note: these substitutions will result in a lighter-colored bread. You can also try root beer instead of Guinness.

2023 Recipe – April Ferre – From Jessica Gavin