SURVIVAL KITCHEN

How To Make Basic Bread From Dough Without Yeast

how-to-make-basic-bread-without-yeast

Yeast is the magic ingredient that makes bread rise into the fluffy texture you’ve become accustomed to. However what if you didn’t have any yeast – how would you make bread?

For your preparedness and ‘survival kitchen’ knowledge, you don’t necessarily need to have yeast to make edible bread. Here’s one way to do it:

 

Very Basic Bread Recipe Without Yeast

If you’re looking for Sourdough, here’s an article on that:
Sourdough Starter Recipe Without Yeast From Scratch

Otherwise, read on!

 
1. Add to a bowl 3 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt.

2. Begin to mix while adding 1/3 cup of oil (extra virgin olive oil).

3. Continue to mix while adding 3/4 cup of warm water. Then continue to add more water a little at a time until the mixture holds together and will roll into a ball while barely sticky. If it becomes too soupy, just add a bit more flour.

(You can be creative and add pretty much anything to the dough for an enhanced bread – maybe some herbs, nuts, etc..)

4. Grease an oven-proof pan (about 8″ or thereabouts) and flatten the dough into the pan. Then flip the dough which coats the other side.

5. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes. Then check it. You might sprinkle some sea salt on top at this point for flavor enhancement. You might need to continue cooking for another 10 to 20 minutes – just check for a golden top, and it should spring back when touched.

 
Here’s a picture of the baked ‘bread’. It ‘rises’ some, but don’t expect tall fluffy bread! It’s dense, perfectly edible, and its flavor can be enhanced by adding your own ‘extras’…
Baked Bread Without Yeast

Note: The same bread recipe (without yeast) with pictures and more information:
Bread Recipe With No Yeast

 
The point of the recipe is that bread doesn’t have to be what you’re used to getting in the grocery store (processed perfection), and you can make bread without yeast.

Note: It will be a denser bread for sure, somewhat heavy but entirely edible and good. There are LOTS of recipes to do this.

In summary, to make an edible bread without yeast, all that we’re doing here is adding ingredients to hold flour into a dough so that you can cook it. Without yeast, the baking powder and salt gives it some rise. Any additional ingredients are added for nutrition, texture, taste and appearance…

 
You might also consider your own yeast starter and sourdough bread recipes:

Classic Sourdoughs: A Home Baker’s Handbook
Classic Sourdoughs Handbook

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62 Comments

  1. Sourdough. Of course you have to feed it once a week like a pet. Fortunately I have friends that will babysit it for me. I just started a potato based one which is pretty good, more mild than many of them if you aren’t a big fan of sourdough. There are lots of things you can do with it though, muffins, pancakes, rolls….. I made a cinnamon raisin bread from sourdough that came out pretty good.

  2. 2 1/2 CUPS SELF RISING FLOUR- 2 TABLESPOONS SUGAR- 12 OZ. OF SEVEN UP.

    MIX ALL 3 TOGETHER BAKE AT 375 FOR ABOUT 40 MINS.

    IN A BREAD PAN I ADD DRIED ONION BITS AND GARLIC, OR GRATED CHEESE OR ROSEMARY. THE BREAD IS BETTER FRESH FROM THE OVEN, IT WILL NOT RISE MUCH HIGHER THEN THE PAN.

  3. I have made bread by letting the natural yeasts in the air penetrate the dough to make bread taking a few days to prepare. I don’t add yeast, nature does it for the bread. I learned it from the Navaho as old style Indian bread set outside, covered in the warm sun to rise. This is also how our pioneers made starter dough. Yeast is a fungal spore that eats off the sugars found in leaves, decaying wood, organic material, and exposed to these airborne spores, it settles in flour and expels carbon dioxide to create tiny bubbles in dough to make it rise….., you know, the gas that the government named as a pollutant. It works best in the warm growing season when yeasts are more active. So remember when you eat bread, you are also eating polluted food to be politically correct. lol.

    1. Hey stardust

      I have been looking for a recipe for the old fashion bread that rises from natural yeast in the air. Like the kind you are talking about. Would you be willing to share your recipe and method with me?

      Thanks

    2. It is a common misconception that CO2 is a pollutant in and of itself. It is naturally exhaled by many organisms, however the amount of it currently being released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels and other emissions is dangerous for our ecosphere. It is also important to note that most CO2 emissions are accompanied by other toxic gases and particles, which are pollutants.

      1. Kyra O’haeger,

        If only we could stop humans and other organisms from breathing we could save the planet!

        Would love to stick around to discuss but I’ve got to jump in my Ford 4×4 Truck and pick up some diesel fuel for my tractor. Plenty of chores for tomorrow!

        1. How ignorant, so does that mean we need to kill babies and make others sterile? Isn’t that what Bill Gates believes?

      2. That is a common myth that CO2 contributes to a warming planet, actually the truth is that CO2 was a result of a warmer environment not the cause of it! As you can see, plenty of organisms expel CO2 in a variety of ways!
        I’m not politically correct, sorry about that!

  4. Breads usually use some form of a leavening agent to get the dough to rise but not all breads are done this way. Breads rise through fermentation and a release of gases.

    Think of the “breads” from our forefathers and breads from the Indigenous people around the world. Crackers, hard tack, flat breads (chapati, naan), etc are made without modern leavening agents and we should all learn how to make a few if we haven’t already. One day we may deplete our supply of convenient yeasts and powders.

    I make all our breads and have some standard recipes using yeast and sourdough. I also make some soda breads (like the one above) and my fav is the ole Beer Bread which makes a great toast bread. During winter when there is space in the fridge, I make some of the artisan breads and many of those doughs are refrigerated until needed.

    Incidently, “self-rising flour” is nothing more than flour with a proportional amount of baking powder and salt. I add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder plus 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of unbleached flour to yield a cup of self-rising flour.

  5. Another bread without adding yeast I made before is flour tortillas and use them for many Mexican meals.

    3 cups flour
    1 tsp. salt
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup warm water

    Combine dry ingredients first, salt with flour in a bowl, mix well, then and add the warm water and vegetable oil to form the dough, kneed it well.

    Pick a piece from the dough ball and using a rolling pin, roll it out on a flat surface and flour the surface when needed. Cut edges to form a circle or square, and put it in a flat pan on the stove on medium heat. Flip the tortilla when brown specs occur and cook the other side the same way.

    It is cheaper than buying the tortilla at the store, and I made these during hard times. My best use of these was scrambling eggs with chrizo (a hot and spicy ground Mexican sausage) with melted cheddar cheese rolled up in the tortilla for breakfast.

    1. Thank you.I am gonna try with your recipe. I have not made tortillas since I was living with my grandma.

  6. In a pinch, warm beer, even flat stale beer is a useful substitute for yeast in bread. The beer will work similar to yeast, add a unique flavor and the alcohol will cook off.

      1. Use the same amount of beer as you would the normal liquid (water,milk,ect).
        Beer also makes GREAT pancakes.
        Not to worry the “booze” is cooked out.
        Unfortunately brewers like Coors, Budweiser, PBW filter their beers removing most of the yeast, Try to find a “muddy” beer to cook with, it will most likely have more yeast remaining after processing.
        I prefer using “homebrew”, better flavor and has the yeast you need to cook with.
        NRP

    1. Beer has yeast. If trying to avoid yeast in bread making, beer is not a good choice.

      1. The yeast is filtered out of most commercial beer. If the beer looks clear, the yeast has been filtered (and even if it is cloudy, it may still be yeastless).

      1. Rose;
        Most Beer has yeast, unless it’s a Filtered or Pasteurized brew.
        Also be careful of a Brettanomyces beer, aka a Sour Beer, some is a Lambic but not all.

  7. Great ideas! I have been wanting to make my own bread. I will definitely try these. The beer bread is intriguing.

  8. King Arthur carries an excellent sour dough starter that I have had for years. I also have a starter from a recipe in the La Brea Bread cookbook that you make with fermented grapes. Have had great success with these.

  9. I followed the recipe exactly except didn’t have any olive oil so I used Canoli. Came out still good and it’s so quick. Plan to use when I am out of bread, or in a pinch!

  10. Try hard tack. 4 cups flour (all purpose, whole wheat, self rise). Tsp salt. Cup of water. Works into a very stiff dough. Here is the trick. Put a cutting board on a VERY sturdy table or the floor. With a heavy rolling pin, billy club, etc., beat the dough flat and thin. Fold up into a was and repeat for a half hour or until you can’t swing the “club” any more. This MUST be done. Then roll out to 1/2 inch poke it all over with a sturgy

  11. Hard tack cont. Poke with a sturdy fork,cut into cracker size squares, bake at etp for an hour or so. Makes a semi xhewey to tooth breaking cracker. I store air tight with a dessicant. Barrels of these pigs from the Napoleonic war have been cracked and eaten with relish. Addictive nutrition. Think the shark hunter inJaws incessantly nibbling those down east cracker thingies.

  12. Don’t you need an acid, such as buttermilk or Whey to activate the baking powder/soda? It’s probably why you’re not getting a nice rise, but a dense bread.

    1. Just look up Rachel Allen’s simple bread recipe… She doesn’t use yeast…
      I have tried it…works great.

  13. Can I use soya flour instead of normal flour cause my husband is allergic to wheat ,corn,rice,oats thanks

  14. Lexi, I wish someone would have answered your question, I too am allergic to wheat and oats among many other things. So if you found an answer, please post it here. I will be checking back. Thanks.

    1. Jeri/Lexi, a quick question.Are you sure you are gluten intolerant? The reason I ask is a good friend thought he was gluten intolerant but found out he was really allergic to the wheat/oat mites that are in all grains.If he sticks his flour/oats in the freezer for a few days to kill them he can eat it without getting sick. If he doesn’t freeze it first he does get sick. Just a thought.
      Have you tried rice or soy flour?Try it straight out of the bag first.If you have problems freeze it for a few days then try again.See if that helps.
      As long as you don’t need an EPI PEN if you have a reaction to grains I would try experimenting withfreezing your flour/grains first. Hope this helps…

  15. Southern women like my mother know this recipe, not to take from you at all, it’s called a hot water biscuits. Self rising is used or all purpose with the proper salt and baking soda ratio for bread (found on flour package). The magic is in the mixing…don’t over work (mix) the flour. For best flavor use meat dripping to coat pan and top biscuit. FOR COMPANY, replace water with buttermilk or regular milk curdled by a little plain vinegar.

  16. Please know with biscuits enough water is used to make flour sticky but pliable. If you get it too wet add a bit more floor. The only way it can be ruined is by pinching off too big a biscuit so they don’t cook in the middle…325 or 350 in the oven or in a dutch oven with coals on bottom and top in the fire and watch carefully… If the flour is worked too much one gets rocks…which can happen if one is new to breads. Don’t give up.

  17. I know that recipe for Hot Water Biscuits, my grandmother called them, ‘Bitter*ss Biscuits’. I love the part about for company! Lol!

  18. I’ve used 2 tablespoons of Pineapple juice and 1/2 cup of milk and let sit for 10 minutes or until it’s slightly curdled and mix in with the rest of the recipe, and it comes out great if your looking for your own way to make a sour dough bread. :)

  19. You don’t need commercial yeast. Yeast is everywhere. It is literally in the air. Just leave the flower and water on the counter for a few hours or a day and it will bubble and rise. This is how bread was made for the most part until very recently.

  20. Jeri/Lexi:
    Some folks believe that gluten intolerance has arisen from the highly processed grains (white flour) and use of commercially produced yeast. After all, bread has been the staple food of mankind. The thought goes that the processed grain removes fiber and nutrients from the grain and the yeast greatly speeds up the fermentation process that otherwise breaks down and converts gluten.

    HOW TO MAKE STARTER:
    In the no yeast method, I started with 1/2 cup un-chlorinated water with 1/2 cup organic wheat flour. Whip it and mix and let it sit on your counter to the open air for a while. You can cover with a cloth overnight. Every evening when I got home from work and morning before I left, I removed about 1/4 cup of the mixture and replaced it with 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 water. In 2-3 days there were active bubbles on the service. The yeast in the air was doing its job. They say to do this for a week or two to get an active yeast and then you can refrigerate it, but every 10 days you need to take it out, remove a little bit and feed it with 1-2 teaspoons of the organic flour to 1 teaspoon water. Leave it out and feed it twice and then back in the fridge it goes. My “starter” took hold after about 6 days. Recipes call for replacing 1/10 to 3/10 of the flour with your starter. I am making bread today out of starter (tap water that sat out for a day, organic flour & air), water, flour and a little salt. It’s a long process and full of variables (heat, altitude, etc) but I’m doing other things, like writing this, while the bread rises.

  21. In Australia – we use butter instead of oil and call this damper! Mostly to cook on the open fire while camping. Yum Yum Stirs up lots of good memories.

  22. Just commenting for all the people asking about a gluten free option- I use Yucca or Cassava flour -it’s a 1:1 replacement ratio for wheat flour and is the closest tasting to it. I use Otto’s brand. Hope it helps! (It makes really good bread and tortillas.)

  23. Baking bread is simple…use no yeast. Flour, salt, and water period. As it sits in the open bowl the bacteria in the air that is always present will join in and make it bubble and thereby will in turn make yeast. The longer it sits will make the sour taste in sourdough bread. That’s it. Just taste periodically to see how sour it has become and let it rise twice. Knead till consistant and bake at 450 till done approximately an hour depending on size and oven.

    1. Hi , may i know the measurement please, i want to try making this sourdough bread of yours.

      Thank you!

  24. Irish white soda bread.

    450g plain flour
    1 level tea spoon of bread soda
    Pinch salt
    25g soft margarine
    1 egg, whisked with 250 ml buttermilk

    To Cook –
    Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 6, 200ºC. Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Rub in the margarine. Pour in the egg and buttermilk mixture and stir well. Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly for a minute or two. Shape into a round and flatten slightly.

    Place on a baking sheet. Mark with a deep cross and bake in the oven for approximately 30-40 minutes.

    Cool on a wire rack.

  25. 4 ingredient soda bread

    200 g any flour
    200 ml of milk (I use soya)
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    I teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

    First put lemon juice in milk to curdle it and put to one side. Mix flour and bicarbonate. Add the milk mixture to the flour and mix. Then I just chuck it onto a baking tray, 40 mins at gas 4. That’s it, easy.

    1. Yes, it’s certainly not your store-bought bread or bread made with yeast. The reason I posted the article was to show how you can make edible bread without yeast (e.g. during a survival mode situation whereby one might not have yeast but you might have flour or wheat that you can mill to flour).

      This ‘bread’ is dense, but I still call it bread ;)

      1. Hi! First Thanks for this recipe. I’ve made this several times with various gluten free flours and its always yummy (a little crumbly but still edible!) However, the bread is NOT really very dense! I’m TRYING to make a nice heavy (without being gummy) dense, italian style bread but can’t figure out how. Maybe because I’m using gluten free flour? (I can’t have wheat or yeast and don’t really like baking so this easy recipe is fabulous for me!) My bread always come out well but I can’t seem to get it to stay together well. Thanks for any tips you may have. PS: I usually use Oat Fl., Millet and/or Sorghum and arrowroot for starch.

  26. Thank for these yeastless bread recipes…I thought I might have to give up bread all together and pizza too…Some people with Gout can not eat bread because of the yeast…I was one of those people.. Thank you to all for your great recipes.

  27. Was wondering if there is a recipe for a soft crust no yeast bread….I am a fan of them and have made many types, but most crusts are hard for old teeth…

  28. Ok, this was very helpful. The expanded explanation as I read through the recipe were great. Thank you for the honest in depth article.

  29. Very useful and interesting posts above.

    Robin, to get the bread soft, you could cover the bread with cotton clothe or in bowl immediately you take it out from the oven. I say this because that’s what I do when I make flat bread and want it soft enough to roll and it works great.

    1. Ari;
      Don’t be to confident in MY cooking abilities, I’ve been known to burn water… HAHAHA
      Good for you cooking at 12, betting you’ll grow to a fine Adult some day.
      Thank you for the comment.

    2. Ari,
      Good for you!! Keep baking and cooking, its a skill you will use throughout your life!

  30. Bread is a tasty luxury that most of us enjoy. However, trying to make some without the proper ingredients and tools is just going to make you disappointed.

    You’ll be much happier just making the bread that people from every country has made for millennia in one form or another. The humble tortilla. Very easy to make. Minimal ingredients. And thanks to recent popularity ANYTHING can be made into a wrap or burrito.

    From there you can kick it up a notch and make what Native Americans call fry bread. Yum!

    And a lot can be said about the usefulness of biscuits and cornbread too. In fact, once when I didn’t feel like going to the store but still wanted hot dogs, I just made myself some hot dog length biscuits and called it a day.

    Everyone knows about the beans and cornbread combo, but guess what else goes well with beans, some good old hush puppies!

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