November 29, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

No Yeast Bread – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

This simple No-Yeast Bread can be prepared in a matter of minutes and doesn’t require any rising time! Bake it up and enjoy a delicious slice of hot baked bread in under 90 minutes!

If you’re looking for a yeasted bread check out our White Bread recipe, Honey Whole Wheat Bread recipe, or our delicious Dinner Rolls. And don’t forget the Honey Butter to slather on a hot slice!

Overhead image of No-Yeast Bread

Bread Recipe With No Yeast!

If you’re wondering what bread contains no yeast, it’s typically a variety of quick bread (or more precisely called soda bread). This particular No-Yeast Bread recipe I’m sharing is a quick bread/soda bread recipe. The bread rises from the gasses produced in a chemical interaction between the acids of the dough (buttermilk) and the baking agents (baking powder and baking soda). This results in a lovely rise without any yeast!

And don’t worry, this easy bread recipe with no yeast is quick to make — in fact, there is no rising time required. The bread whips together quickly in a large bowl with a wooden spoon and/or spatula (no hand or stand mixers required!)

Texture and Taste: Taste is buttery and rich with a mild flavor most similar to a biscuit flavor. While we love this bread plain, it is definitely next level served with butter or jam — it’s not necessarily intended to be eaten on its own. The texture is wonderful — it has a nice and crisp crust with a dense, tender, and moist-like interior. The bread has a much tighter crumb and a softer texture than your typical sandwich bread. We do enjoy this bread best the same day it’s made (similar to biscuits!) and it becomes a chewier/softer day 2-3.

No Yeast Bread FAQs

1What type of bread is made without yeast?

Soda bread is a type of quick bread made with baking soda and/or baking powder instead of traditional yeast. The typical ingredients are flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and buttermilk. There are all different kinds of soda breads in a variety of cuisines.

2Can you rise bread without yeast?

Yes! An acid (buttermilk in this recipe) combined with a baking agent (baking soda and powder in this case) will give the bread a beautiful rise without any yeast.

3What makes No-Yeast Bread different?

There is a unique texture in soda bread when compared to a loaf of yeasted bread. It has more of a biscuit-like texture with a nice softness and moist crumb. This is a result of the reaction between the acidity of the buttermilk and baking agents — small bubbles of carbon dioxide form in the dough.

4What can be used instead of yeast?

  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Sourdough starter (which contains naturally occurring yeast)

Keep in mind you need acidity in the bread to react with the baking powder or baking soda which is why we use buttermilk in the recipe.

5What is the difference between bread with yeast and bread without yeast?

Yeast helps to strengthen the elasticity of the dough (the gluten) so you’ll end up with chewier, fluffier bread. Bread made without yeast will still rise, but the loaf is a bit denser with more moistness and softness.

6How long and at what temperature do I heat an already baked bread in the oven?

Lightly butter the top of the bread and place on a sheet pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 300 degrees F to reheat.

Process shots-- images of the butter being melted and the buttermilk being added to it, and it all being whisked together. Then images of buttermilk and an egg being whisked together

The “Secret” To the Easy Preparation

Remember the “secret” preparation method for creating these amazing Drop Biscuits?

Quick re-cap: Most drop biscuits use cold cubed butter and a food processor or pastry blender to cut the butter into the biscuits. But instead of doing this, we actually melt the butter. This would typically be bad for the texture, but we form new butter clumps by mixing in cold buttermilk. When the cold buttermilk hits the melted butter, it forms small clumps (see the photo above). Those clumps will imbue the wonderful texture that results from pockets of butter without the extra work. (Thanks to Cooks Illustrated for teaching me this cool trick!)

We use this method again in this No-Yeast White Bread — we mix hot melted butter with cold buttermilk and get perfect clumps of butter. This is not only going to help the bread rise, but it will also give it a great texture. And, it’s SO much easier than cutting in cold butter!

By the way, if you’re looking for no-yeast bread rolls, I’d recommend trying out that drop biscuit recipe!

QUICK TIP

Fat (butter) forms small pockets throughout the biscuit dough. As it melts in the oven, the CO2 from the baking powder takes the place of the fat so the bread will rise. Without butter clumps in the biscuit dough, the biscuits will end up hard and flat — there is no place for the CO2 to go except out!

Process shots of No-Yeast Bread-- images of the dry ingredients being mixed together and then the two buttermilk mixtures being added to the dry and it all being mixed together

How To Make Bread With No Yeast

You’ll be amazed how quickly this bread comes together! Be sure to watch the quick video overview and check out the step-by-step process photos. Below are our top tips:

  • Watch the bake time. Keep an eye on the bread while it’s in the oven. There is a lot of variation in bread baking times due to several factors. A couple of cues to look for: a nice golden brown crust and the bread should sound hollow when lightly tapped in the middle. If the bread is browning too much before it is baked through the middle, tent the top with a sheet of foil.
  • Cut an “X” in the loaf before baking. This helps to ensure the middle is cooked through.
  • Let baked bread stand. Once you remove it from the oven, allow time for the bread to stand on the sheet pan for about 5-10 minutes and then on a wire cooling rack for at least 30 minutes. The residual heat and steam ensure the inside is fully baked through. As tempting as it is to cut in, don’t rush it because you’ll likely end up with a slightly doughy center.
  • Use buttermilk straight from the fridge — the colder the better. This will ensure the clumps form well in the melted butter.
  • Adding flour to the dough can be tricky. Humidity, altitude, and temperature can all affect how much flour you’ll need. I always recommend starting with a little shy of what a recipe calls for and adding very slowly until the dough pulls off the sides of the bowl and is not too sticky. We don’t want wet dough, but it should still have moisture in it.
    • Too much flour results in a dense and less-flavorful loaf of No-Yeast Bread. Too little and the bread will spread excessively.
    • When measuring flour for this bread, be sure to spoon and level the flour. If you press a measuring cup into a container and push the flour into the cup, you’ll end up with way too much flour. Here’s how to spoon and level flour.

Process shots-- images of the dough being kneaded into a ball and an X being cut in the center and it all being baked

Serving Suggestions 

No-Yeast Bread is fairly plain in flavor (delicious, but plain!) and is enhanced by a topping of some sort. Here are our favorite ways to enjoy this bread:

  • Slice a piece while the bread is still hot and spread on a thick layer of room-temperature butter. If the butter is unsalted, add a pinch of salt to bring out the creamy flavors. You could also add on some freshly cut herbs like rosemary or thyme.
  • Add a citrus marmalade or berry jam. If the bread isn’t fresh out of the oven, toast a slice first.
  • Make a sandwich with it! Add your favorite cheese and meat or prepare an open-faced sandwich with toasted bread and cheese! 
  • Prepare biscuits and gravy but with a slice of toasted No-Yeast Bread instead of the biscuits! We loved this meal!
  • Use for French toast. Top with plenty of buttermilk syrup, pancake syrup, or blueberry syrup.
  • Dunk in some soup — here’s a list of 30 or our favorite soup recipes.

Image of the No-Yeast Bread fresh out of the oven

STORAGE

Storing No-Yeast Bread

No-Yeast Bread is always best right out of the oven (the same day it is made), but it does store fine. Since there aren’t preservatives in this homemade bread, it won’t last as long as store-bought bread, but it probably won’t be around as long, either!

Store leftover bread at room temperature in a cool dry place for up to 3-5 days, preferably in a container that allows some ventilation so the bread can “breathe.” Heat and humidity can cause bread to mold. I also don’t recommend storing it in the refrigerator, as it turns stale quickly (the dry air in the fridge will expedite staleness). To keep the bread soft, store it in an airtight plastic bag after it has completely cooled.

For any bread that is leftover after 2-3 days, I recommend storing it in the freezer, where it will keep fresh for up to 3 months. Slice it before freezing, and then take out one or two slices at a time, as you need them. Transfer slices straight from the freezer to the toaster or thaw at room temperature.

QUICK TIP

No-Yeast Bread is notoriously crumbly, so toast the bread first for more stability.

More Quick Bread Recipes

No-Yeast Bread

This simple No-Yeast Bread can be prepared in a matter of minutes and doesn’t require any rising time! Bake it up and enjoy a delicious slice of hot bread in under 90 minutes!

No-Yeast Bread

This simple No-Yeast Bread can be prepared in a matter of minutes and doesn’t require any rising time! Bake it up and enjoy a delicious slice of hot bread in under 90 minutes!

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or a Silpat liner OR line a 5-quart cast-iron pot with parchment paper. Set aside. Melt butter in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl.

  • LIQUIDS: Take the butter from the microwave and pour in 1 cup (237g) cold buttermilk. Stir with a fork and set aside for about 5 minutes. In another medium-sized bowl add the remaining 3/4 cup (176g) buttermilk and the large egg. Whisk together until smooth and set aside.

  • DRY INGREDIENTS: Add 4-1/2 cups, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt to a very large bowl. Whisk together until combined. Make a well in the middle of the bowl and pour in the buttermilk + egg mixture. Stir the butter and buttermilk mixture again, mixing until small clumps form (we want this mixture as clumpy as possible!). Use a spatula to scrape every bit of this mixture on top.
  • MIX: Use a strong spatula or wooden spoon to mix ingredients until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Take care not to overmix or overwork the dough. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons extra flour onto a clean work surface. Scrape out all of the dough right on top and sprinkle with 2 more tablespoons of flour. Gently knead the bread about 6-8 times to bring everything together into a wide and smooth ball.

  • BAKE: Gently transfer the ball to the prepared baking sheet or pot and pat it down to about 1-1/2 inches in height. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut an “X” across the surface, about 1/4-inch deep. Bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, do not open the oven, but reduce the heat to 400 degrees F and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until the base sounds hollow when tapped in the middle (25 mins in my oven). See Note 3.

  • COOL: Remove tray from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire cooling rack. Let the bread cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing into it (the steam is still cooking the bread!) — Note 4.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Buttermilk: While it would seem like any milk will work here, we need the acidity from the buttermilk to counteract the baking soda and powder to create the rise in the bread. Real buttermilk is a must!
Note 2: Flour: When measuring flour for this bread, get an exact weight using a food scale or spoon and level the flour. If you press a measuring cup into a container and push the flour into the cup, you’ll end up with way too much flour. Here’s how to spoon and level flour.
Note 3: Tapping the bread: To test for doneness, tap the bottom of the loaf and listen for a hollow sound. To do this, wearing oven mitts, tip the pan so that the bread comes out of the pan and onto your hand or a cutting board. Lift the bread with your hand and tap with your finger. Tapping while the bread is on a counter or still in the pan will not give you an accurate indication.
Note 4: Cooling Time: Once you pull it from the oven, allow time for the bread to stand on the sheet pan for about 5-10 minutes and then on a wire cooling rack for at least 30 minutes — this rest time is just as important as the bake time! The residual heat and steam ensure the inside is fully baked through. As tempting as it is to cut in, don’t rush it because you’ll likely end up with a slightly doughy center.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 7.1g | Fat: 9.8g | Cholesterol: 39.8mg | Sodium: 151.9mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 5g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.