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No Yeast Bread (soda bread with 4 ingredients)

If you never tried bread made without yeast, you missed a lot. No yeast bread (Soda Bread) is an easy way to put bread on the table in a blink of an eye.

Soda bread is an Irish recipe that is considered a staple in the Irish cuisine. Made with all kinds of flour, this type of no yeast bread usually rises with the help of baking soda, baking powder and buttermilk.

No yeast bread(Soda Bread with 4 ingredients) - featured picture Pinterest

Classic no yeast bread

This is a very basic recipe of white soda bread that will save the day when you don’t have the time to go to the grocery store, or the fear of making bread with yeast stops you from enjoying fresh baked bread.

You do not need to be Irish to make this bread. You just need to have 4 ingredients in the pantry for this beautiful recipe and obviously an oven.

On the other hand, if you want to get fancier, I have some other recipes for you:

Irish Brown Soda Bread With Molasses

Basic Old Fashion American-Irish Soda Bread

Quick and Easy Beer Bread Recipe

There is nothing better than a loaf of bread coming out of the oven.

The smell of fresh baked bread is wonderful, but a slice of bread with butter is absolutely heaven. And who doesn’t enjoy some bread and butter once in a while?

I never had a no yeast bread or a Soda Bread. What does it taste like and how is the texture of it?

First of all, the name comes from the fact that this type of bread is made with baking soda. Some soda breads are made with whole wheat flour, some with white flour, or a combination of both.

The texture is a little bit denser compared to a loaf of bread for sandwiches, for example, that you might buy at the grocery store. The look is rustic and hearty and the crust is thicker and delicious.

However, the bread, despite the fact that it is dense, it still has that fluffy, airy texture of the crumb, almost like a yeast bread.

HOW TO HANDLE SODA BREAD DOUGH:

Do not be tempted to knead the soda bread the same way you would knead yeast breads. Too much handling causes the bread to toughen. 

The process should not take more than a few minutes from the time you add the buttermilk to the time you put it in the oven- any longer and the action of the baking soda is lost.

Note: I saw some bloggers out there advising on freezing the dough and bake the bread later. I say it is totally wrong, as the soda will outgas and lose its leavening power within the first hour or so, leaving you with a bread that will not rise anymore in the oven.

Also, the basic rule is to not knead the bread at all or knead only a few times (less than 10 times). As you will see in my recipe here, this version doesn’t require any kneading.

what ingredients go into this no yeast bread (soda bread)?

  • Plain white flour– Most people have all-purpose flour in the pantry, and it works fine.
  • Salt- an important ingredient for seasoning and the only one required for this simple bread.
  • Baking soda(bicarbonate of soda)- Do not confuse baking soda with baking powder. They act differently in batters and doughs. You cannot just swap them when one is missing from your pantry, and if you do, you will need to adjust the recipe. More about this here.
  • Buttermilk- Buttermilk is acidic. In combination with baking soda, buttermilk produces carbon dioxide gas, which is why bread rises, pancakes get fluffy, biscuits get rich and flaky, the cake gets moist and delicious—more about buttermilk in this article.

How to make this yeast free bread:

Step one.

Preheat oven to 450F and dust a baking sheet with flour.

Step 2.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and gradually add the buttermilk, drawing in the dry ingredients from the sides of the bowl. Mix until a soft dough forms.

glass bowl with flour, salt and baking soda

Step 3.

Turn out onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour and shape into a round about 2 inches in height.

bread dough on a wooden cutting board dusted with flour

Place the round on the prepared baking sheet and use a floured knife to cut a deep cross on top of it.

No yeast bread Soda Bread- before baking-with knife cutting a cross on top of the bread

Step 4.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

No yeast bread Soda Bread-featured picture

Simple as that. The recipe is extremely easy to make and the results are amazing. A no yeast soda bread is actually a classic Irish soda bread that we all heard about.

Now, you are able to bake a delicious homemade no yeast bread and feel like a true Irish. With only four ingredients, you can put bread on the table in no time.

WHY DO WE HAVE TO CUT A CROSS ON TOP OF THE SODA BREADS?

Traditionally, a deep cross is cut on top of the soda bread, giving it its distinctive appearance. Mothers used to tell their children that the cross allowed the fairies to escape.

I actually saw a cooking show on TV from Ireland the other day, where the baker was making soda breads with Paul Hollywood and she was explaining the same thing while she was making the cross on top of her bread.

The real purpose of the cross is actually to allow the steam to escape during baking, producing a lighter textured bread.

No yeast bread Soda Bread sliced- with bowl of soup in the background

If you can’t get buttermilk, there are several easy substitutes:

  • Natural yogurt– make up a 3:1 mixture of plain yogurt and water
  • Sour cream– make up a 3:1 mixture of sour cream and water
  • Kefir– thin the kefir with water or milk until it has the consistency of buttermilk.
  • Cream of tartar– Mix 1 cup whole milk with 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar. Stir and leave to stand for 5-10 minutes until thick and curdled.
  • Milk and lemon juice or vinegar– Mix 1 cup whole milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes until slightly curdled.

Can I add some other ingredients to this basic recipe?

Yes, you can. Here are some options:

  • Soda Bread With onion&dill– Prepare the basic recipe, adding 1 tablespoon dried minced onion and 1 tablespoon dried dill to the flour before mixing.
  • Soda bread with cheese&mustard– Prepare the basic recipe, adding 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese and 2 teaspoons dried mustard to the flour before mixing.
  • Soda bread with sweet red bell pepper&sage– Prepare the basic recipe, adding 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted sweet red peppers and 1 tablespoon (or less, as you want) dried sage to the flour before mixing.
  • Fruit&oats– Prepare the basic recipe, replacing 2 tablespoons of the flour with 2 tablespoons rolled oats and add 1/2 cup chopped raisins or cranberries.

Enjoy!

Yield: 1 loaf

NO YEAST BREAD (SODA BREAD WITH 4 INGREDIENTS)

NO YEAST BREAD (SODA BREAD WITH 4 INGREDIENTS)

If you never tried bread made without yeast, you missed a lot. No yeast bread(Soda Bread) is an easy way to put bread on the table in a blink of an eye.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb all purpose flour plus extra for dusting the table
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F and dust a baking sheet with flour.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and gradually add the buttermilk, drawing in the dry ingredients from the sides of the bowl. Mix until a soft dough forms.
  3. Turn out onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour and shape into a a round about 2 inches in height. Place the round on the prepared baking sheet and use a floured knife to cut a deep cross in it.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  5. It keeps well in an airtight container for 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Notes

  • IF YOU CAN’T GET BUTTERMILK, THERE ARE SEVERAL EASY SUBSTITUTES:
  • Natural yogurt– make up a 3:1 mixture of plain yogurt and water
  • Sour cream– make up a 3:1 mixture of sour cream and water
  • Kefir– thin the kefir with water or milk until it has the consistency of buttermilk.
  • Cream of tartar– Mix 1 cup whole milk with 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar. Stir and leave to stand for 5-10 minutes until thick and curdled.
    Milk and lemon juice or vinegar– Mix 1 cup whole milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes until slightly curdled.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 114Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 262mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

Did you make this recipe?

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