I consider myself to be a fairly good “prepper,” but the COVID-19 pandemic brought on food shortages. I was out of one key item: Yeast. I thought I had it, but yikes, I was wrong. Here is how I coped with baking bread without yeast.
Why Do You Even Need Yeast for Bread?
Yeast, once dissolved and combined with sugar, water, and flour, feeds on the dough and forms carbon dioxide bubbles. Those tiny bubbles stick together with gluten and form the porous texture of bread.
Salt adds flavor, as does sugar (or other sweeteners), and flour forms the structure of the loaf. Baking your own bread, with or without yeast, is a fun and challenging homesteading skill to have, and an important one!
Can You Make Bread Without Yeast?
Absolutely! While the texture will be different (crumblier, usually), here are some terrific alternatives for bread without yeast.
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1. Beer Bread
My husband loves beer, and even makes his own, so I knew we’d have beer around. I love beer bread with extra goodies in it, so I was delighted to find this easy recipe by Spend With Pennies that suggests adding chiles and cheese.
Warm from the oven, this is perfect with a pat of butter. The leftovers were delicious for lunch with a spread of cream cheese and some slices of ham. I think it would also be nice with the addition of some fresh herbs, like chives.
2. Rustic No Yeast Bread
Lovely on a cool day with a bowl of soup, this recipe by An Italian in my Kitchen uses baking powder as a leavening, which gives it a nice rise. Make sure to put the slashes on the top to give it an authentic look.
Once cooled, it slices nicely and lends itself well to sandwiches. It also makes fantastic toast.
If you don’t already keep cornmeal in your pantry, this recipe by Le Creme de la Crumb will convince you.
What I love about cornbread is that it is wonderful either sweet or savory. Stick to the basic recipe, and finish with butter and honey — or, add cheese, chiles, and Mexican spices.
- Features 5 impressions shaped like ears of corn
- Durable cast-iron construction heats slowly and evenly
- Children love the different shapes
- Bakeware will last 100 years or more
- Made in USA
4. Boston Brown Bread
This was a favorite recipe of my mother’s, as she loved anything involving molasses and raisins.
The cooking method is unusual and a little challenging because you need, traditionally, empty, clean cans for making the bread. The bread is actually steamed, not baked. It takes a long time.
I went looking for a little easier version!
This is almost more of a cake than a bread, owing to the sweetness of the molasses and raisins, and a schmear of cream cheese on the top of warm bread will make you swoon. Traditionally, it is served with baked beans, but I like it for breakfast.
Key in this recipe is simplicity. A warm tortilla, filled with even the simple combination of beans, salsa, lettuce, and cheese, is a feast for kings.
However, this simple bread is surprisingly versatile. Stuff with scrambled eggs and cheese for a quick, delicious breakfast that you can even eat on the go. Tortillas are good with luncheon meat, lettuce, and tomatoes for lunch.
Finally, try filling with berries or apple pie filling and some whipped cream, and you have a delicious dessert.
What makes these tortillas so tender, chewy, and delicious? Lard. Somewhere along the line, lard got a bad rap that is undeserved. Do yourself a favor and self-educate; you will probably be surprised to know how good it is in your diet.
Come and get them!
6. Cloud Bread
Keto/gluten-free folks, I did not forget about you. This video does a good job of explaining how to make “cloud bread” (no yeast). If you are homesteaders raising chickens, this looks to be a fun (and delicious) way to use up eggs.
How to Enjoy Your No-Yeast Bread
Non-yeast bread is best, in my opinion, warm from the oven or stove. The next day, they benefit from a warming-up in the toaster or oven.
Don’t panic if your bread cracks, or if it is crumbly. That is normal and they will still taste delicious. It is also important to remove it from the pans and onto wire racks to cool, otherwise, it turns a bit soggy.
Homesteaders, do you have a favorite non-yeast bread? We would love to have your ideas in the comments, below.