An easy recipe for emergency no yeast bread; piping hot from the oven, and so much fresher and tastier than a trip to the corner shop.
Opening the bread bag, salivating at the thought of a slice of toast dripping with butter and layered thickly with home-made marmalade for breakfast, or jam at tea-time, only to find the cupboard (bag, bin or however you store your bread) bare is a dispiriting experience. It’s not a problem that can be solved in an instant – bread made with yeast loaf takes the best part of three hours from start to loaf, and sourdough takes about a day (or largely hands off time). However, the answer isn’t a trip to the corner shop. Rather, it’s this recipe for “emergency”no yeast bread.
Emergency no yeast bread is variation on a soda bread: it uses plain milk and baking powder rather than buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda. Baking powder contains both bicarbonate of soda and an acid salt, so this recipe does not need the acid from buttermilk. Also, because baking powder is a quick-acting leavening agent, the dough doesn’t need a long knead or to be allowed time to rise before baking. As a result, the recipe also doesn’t use strong bread flour, as there’s no time for gluten to develop in the dough. So the ingredients – flour, plain milk, baking powder and salt are to be found in your fridge and store cupboard means you can make a fresh loaf whenever wanted.
The recipe for emergency no yeast bread is straightforward: heat the oven to 190°C/Gas mark 5 . Mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder). Add the milk, and bring the dough together. Give it a brisk knead to make sure the milk is evenly distributed throughout, and form into a flat loaf – no more than about 1”/2.5 cm thick. It can’t be too deep otherwise it won’t rise properly as it bakes (the loaf above is really too thick). Place on a baking sheet in the oven and cook for about 35 minutes. The loaf remains quite pale, at most achieving a pale brown colour.
This is based on a Katie Stewart recipe. For those not in the know, Katie Stewart wrote a column in The Times in the 1970’s (and possibly early 1980’s). I think that almost everything that my mother cooked was a Katie recipe, and I learnt to cook from Times Cookery book, and still use some of the recipes. (Her gingernuts are perfection and an almost perfect imitation of a Moore”s ginger biscuit – a rare treat not sold outside of Dorset in those days – we used to stop and buy them from the factory when en route to our family holidays in Cornwall, I was still young enough not to snigger at the Dorset Knobs also on sale.)
A quick and easy no yeast bread loaf recipe for when you need bread in a hurry.
- 1 lb plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 pint of milk
Heat the oven to 190C / GM.
Mix the dry ingredients. Stir in the milk, and bring the dough together.
Knead briefly until a uniform consistency.
Shape the dough into a round about an inch thick and score the top.
Bake at for about 35 minutes until pale brown and sounding hollow when tapped on the bottom.
This bread is great with soup, such as these ready-made soups from award-winning Irish brand Cully and Sully – if you have not got time to make yeasted bread then you probably haven’t got time to make soup, so they are ideal for those occasions.
These are fresh soups, although with a fridge life of a few weeks, from the chiller cabinet and come in 400g packs at a very reasonable £1.50 from Tesco – ideal with fresh bread for lunch shared between two, or as a very easy complete meal for one. If I still had an office job I can see myself having a Cully & Sully soup once or twice a week at my desk; heated in the office microwave.
The soups are all velvet smooth and well as hearty and filling, the pea and minty soup tasted fresh and sweet, the mint wasn’t at all overpowering. Tomato and basil soup was rich and comforting. Chicken and vegetable was packed with chicken and the vegetable was full bodied with lots of flavours.
Of course we like to embellish our soups a little – I’d suggest a drizzle of good olive oil, sprinkle of pepper and a few basil leaves for the tomato, crumbled feta for the pea and mint, some grated cheese for the chicken, and a few frazzled onions for the vegetable.
Sponsored review for Cully & Sully. All opinions our own.
This recipe was originally posted in March 2011, and updated in November 2017. Here’s the rather rustic loaf from our original post.