As November begins with another round of lockdowns and restrictions, we are seeing a repeat of the panic buying of groceries that happened earlier in the year. This sort of shopping (the Germans call it Hamster-Kauf, or Hamster shopping) led to the supermarket shelves being stripped of yeast, among other necessities. While there still seems to be enough of everything to go around, it’s useful to have an Easy No Yeast Bread recipe up your sleeve for when you can’t get any yeast.
It surprises many people to discover that you can make perfectly delicious bread without yeast, using common household ingredients. Yeast is, after all, a rising agent, and most kitchens have a jar or packet of another rising agent tucked away somewhere – baking powder! The active ingredient in baking powder, sodium bicarbonate or baking soda makes an excellent loaf of bread if you can’t get your hands on any yeast.
The Irish and the Australians have been making bread like this for well over 150 years, with Irish Soda Bread or Damper respectively. Both of these types of bread use baking soda or powder instead of yeast, which means they can be prepared quickly, without an additional rising time. Perfect for cooking over the campfire or in a communal oven.
A lot of people ask me what is the difference between baking soda and baking powder. The answer is very straightforward:
Baking Soda / Sodium Bicarbonate / (NaHCO3) / Natron: a chemical raising agent which reacts with an acid to create air bubbles in cooked food.
Baking Powder: is a mixture of Baking Soda and an acid such as cream of tartar as well as a little cornstarch to stop the ingredients reacting before use. Because this mixture already has an acid included, it is not necessary to add any acid to the recipe to activate the baking powder.
Right, science lesson over and back to the cooking! This is such an easy recipe, ideal for beginner bread bakers. You simply stir the ingredients together in a bowl, then pour into a loaf tin and bake until risen and golden. This sort of bread is a little more fragile than as yeast-based sandwich bread, but it is perfectly good for sandwiches or toast, freezes well and tastes great!
How are the supermarkets looking where you are? Still fully stocked or have the shelves been cleared out? Let me know in the comments below! Take care out there and happy baking xJ.
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
- 750g plain flour
- 20g baking powder
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 200ml milk
- 75ml oil
- 2 tsp vinegar
- 2 Tbsp oats or seeds for topping
- Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6 and line a loaf tin with baking paper. Place a small saucepan of hot water in the oven.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl if you are making by hand) stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Pour in 400ml of water, the milk, oil and vinegar, then mix using the dough hook attachment or a big spoon until smooth and well combined.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, use a wet spoon to smooth the top, then cut a deep line into the middle of the loaf lengthways, this will help it to split evenly. If using, sprinkle over 2-3 Tbsp of oats or seeds and press gently so that they stick to the dough.
- Bake the loaf in the middle of the preheated oven for 75 minutes until the bread is risen and well browned.
- Remove the bread from the oven and lift out of the tin using the baking paper to assist. Give it a tap on the bottom, it should sound a bit like a drum, if not, return it to the oven for a further 10 minutes. There is no need to put it back in the tin, place it directly on the oven rack.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before peeling off the paper. Allow to cool completely on a rack before cutting. Cutting the bread before it has cooled will result in a gummy texture, so try to resist the temptation!
- Slice and serve, this bread is best used within 2-3 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 253Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 492mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I use self-raising flour to make No Yeast Bread?
Absolutely! Different countries add different amounts of baking powder to their self-raising flour. Try it without adding any baking powder, and if it seems a little flat, add a teaspoon or two of baking powder to the mixture next time.
Can I use wholemeal or other types of flour to make this bread?
Yes, though I would recommend replacing no more than half of the flour with wholemeal or other flours as the result can be very dense without the lifting power of yeast.
Can I make this Easy No Yeast Bread gluten-free?
I haven’t tried yet, but I believe cassava flour makes an excellent alternative to wheat-based flours. If you experiment, let me know!
Can I make this bread with baking soda instead of baking powder?
Yes! Baking soda is considerably more powerful than baking powder so you can reduce the amount by around half. With both rising agents if they are old or have been stored in a damp place they will not be as effective as a new packet.