We love our bread, we love our butter. But most of all, we love each other.
PLEASE tell me you know what TV show this line is from!
If you don’t…. It’s from “Madeline”, the cartoon series, which I’ve just learned was created in 1993. This French/Canadian show is about the life of a young, free-spirited girl in boarding school. She’s always heading on daring adventures in her yellow dress, yellow hat, and yellow umbrella. Madeline was an iconic part of my childhood.
The most memorable and adorable scene is the one where the girls say grace before eating their food in the school canteen, and every time I’m spreading butter on my bread, I’m singing these lines in my head. We love our bread, we love our butter. But most of all, we love each other.
Does anyone else remember it as I do? I’d love to hear if you also watched this growing up.
Anyway, one thing that I’m burning to tell you guys is that I’ve finally perfected my no yeast bread recipe. Ever since I realized how quick and effortless it was to make homemade bread that doesn’t need any yeast, I’ve never gone back to the bakery for a plain loaf.
Why make yeastless bread?
Yeast is an effective leavening agent that helps bread rise. It is one of the quintessential ingredients in most modern bread recipes, no matter which culture or cuisine we’re talking about.
Aside from the health benefits of a yeast-free diet, people also make unleavened bread when they either: (a) don’t have yeast at home; (b) can’t afford to wait for the yeast to proof, or (c) can’t be bothered to give yeast the TLC it needs. I happen to be all three personas at the same time.
What does no yeast bread taste like?
It is similar to Irish soda bread and tastes mild like a biscuit. Don’t underestimate it, though: yeastless bread is off-the-charts delicious, offering a crispy crust. It doesn’t share the same texture as normal bread which is more stretchy and fluffy.
You can even switch up this bread recipe using your favorite ingredients. I’ve used cheddar cheese and Italian seasoning here, hence the rough, orange crust you see in my pictures. Sensational!
How to make no yeast bread:
This may just be the easiest bread ever made: simply combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, shape the dough into a ball, and bake it in the oven. That’s it! There is no kneading or proofing required. Woohoo! It just gets better and better. We will get into the specifics in the recipe instructions.
This blog post has everything you need to know about making the best homemade bread, including some yummy mix-ins. Once you master yeastless bread, you will never look back.
Let’s start with the basic ingredients for this bread.
- All-purpose flour – Measure 4 cups of all-purpose flour or wheat flour.
- Pro Tip: Don’t pack the measuring cup with flour. Simply spoon flour into the measuring cup and flat-edge it. Especially since we’re dealing with bread dough, we don’t want to overdo the flour and have a dry, tough loaf.
- Salt – Measure 1 ½ teaspoons of salt for taste.
- Baking soda – This helps the bread to rise and puff up. Measure 2 teaspoons of baking soda.
- Milk and vinegar – Mix 2 cups of milk and 2 tablespoons of vinegar to create buttermilk. Its acidity will help the bread rise, too. It takes a village to raise a child!
- Melted butter – Melt ⅓ cup of butter or olive oil. Its fats will tenderize the bread and prevent too much gluten formation (gluten is what makes bread tough and chewy).
See the section on Recipe Mix-ins to see other tasty ways you can modify this recipe.
Step One: Preheat your oven to 400°Fahrenheit.
- Pro Tip: If using an oven, place the dough in a round glass baking dish or a loaf pan. Also, if you are using a dutch oven, there’s no need to preheat.
Step Two: Make the buttermilk. In a medium bowl, mix the milk and vinegar. Let it marinate for at least 5 minutes and then whisk in the melted butter.
Step Three: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
Step Four: In 3 parts, pour the buttermilk into the large bowl of the flour mixture, incorporating with a wooden spoon for 15-20 seconds after each addition.
Step Five: (This is an optional step only for mix-ins. Skip if you are making plain yeastless bread.) Sprinkle cheddar cheese and Italian seasoning and mix until well-combined.
Step Six: Dump the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and shape it into a ball with your hands. Using the parchment paper, lift the dough and place it into a pot.
- Pro Tip: Be careful not to handle the dough too much at this point, as kneading creates gluten which toughens up your bread texture.
Step Seven: Score an ‘X’ (less than 1 inch) into the top of the dough with a sharp knife. This ensures the bread bakes properly in the center.
Step Eight: Cover your pot or dutch oven with the lid, then bake covered for 45 to 55 minutes. Cooked bread has a golden brown crust and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
Step Nine: Lift the bread out of the pot/baking dish using the parchment paper. Allow it to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
- Pro Tip: If you skip the cooling time, your bread will crumble on the edges as soon as you slice. Resist the urge and do not skip it!
What Is The Best Way to Use This Bread?
You can enjoy unleavened bread the same way you eat plain bread. I could go on forever about how to enjoy it, so this list is not exhaustive. It is a good starting point, though.
- Reuben sandwich
- Classic grilled cheese
- Roast beef with salads
- Egg sandwich
To dunk in soups:
- Cream of anything soup (pumpkin, mushroom, chicken)
- Beef stew
- Seafood chowder
- Peanut butter and Nutella
- Jam or marmalade
Can I swap baking powder for baking soda?
When I started cooking, I had no idea what the difference was between baking soda and baking powder. When you’re out of one, can’t you just swap in the other? The answer is a hard no! Baking soda is MUCH more potent than baking powder, which is why you never want to sub one for the other.
Line the baking dish with parchment paper:
I generally use my round glass baking dish or dutch oven to make this no yeast bread. It’s best if you use parchment paper so you can easily lift the bread out of the hot pan once it’s cooked.
With this homemade bread, you have the license to get creative. The options are truly endless, ranging from savory to sweet breads.
Here are my two favorite savory variations:
Herb and cheddar:
- 1 ¼ cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning (or favorite dried herbs)
Olives and feta cheese:
- 1 ¼ cup of crumbled feta cheese
- ¾ cup of black olives
To make your bread sweeter:
Add 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar to your dry ingredients. Then, at the add-ins step (step five) squirt ¼ cup of honey and pour in a ½ cup of rolled oats into the dough mixture.
If you liked this yeastless bread recipe, check out this yeastless flatbread pizza crust recipe for your next pizza party! It comes together in minutes and tastes great no matter what goes on it.
No Yeast Bread Recipe
NO YEAST BREAD
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups buttermilk (or 2 cups milk mixed with 2 tablespoons of vinegar)
- 1/3 cup melted butter
ITALIAN HERB & CHEDDAR
- 1 ¼ cups cheddar cheese grated
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
OLIVE & FETA
- 3/4 cup black olives
- 1 ¼ cup feta cheese crumbled
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
- Pour the buttermilk and butter into the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Add the cheddar cheese and Italian seasoning and mix until they are incorporated.
- Dump the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and shape into a ball with your hands. Using the parchment paper, lift the dough and place it into a dutch oven. Score the top with a knife (this is so that the bread cooks properly) then bake, covered, for 50-55 minutes. When it's cooked, the crust will be golden brown, and the bread will sound hollow if you knock on the top of it.
- Lift the bread out of the pot using the parchment paper then wait 30 minutes before slicing it.