Need emergency no yeast bread in a hurry? Shop run out? This no yeast, no rise loaf that anyone can bake is the answer. All you need is four store cupboard ingredients. Egg free recipe.
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. I think that this bread is far better than soda bread – as I find soda bread can taste bitter and you are more likely to have baking powder than baking soda in the cupboard.
Because baking powder is a quick-acting leavening agent you don’t need to allow time for it to rise before baking.
The recipe also doesn’t use strong bread flour, as there’s no need to knead the dough to develop the gluten.
The ingredients flour, plain milk, baking powder and salt are all everyday basics found in your fridge and store cupboard, which means you can easily make a fresh loaf whenever you need one.
This recipe was first published in 2011, and has been popular ever since.
How to Make Emergency Bread
It is really easy and straightforward to make a loaf of emergency no yeast bread. I recommend reading the whole post and watching the video to see how to handle the dough before you start to cook.
Firstly test your baking powder is still good. If it is stale the bread simply won’t rise. Put a teaspoon in a small pot and pour over boiling water and the baking powder should vigorously bubble and fizz. If it doesn’t toss it and buy fresh.
Just because it has past its best before date it could still be good – the one above is technically two years out of date.
Step 1: Gather your ingredients. Heat the oven to 190°C Fan (210C regular) / 375°F /Gas Mark 6.
Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) in a large bowl.
Step 3: Add the milk, and bring the dough together – mix the ingredients until they come together into dough. It’s easiest to do this with your hands rather than a wooden spoon. Turn the dough out onto your worksurface, and give it a quick knead to make sure the milk is evenly distributed. It doesn’t need a long kneading.
Step 4: Form into a flat loaf – no more than about 1½”/3cm thick. Important! It mustn’t be too thick otherwise it won’t rise or bake through properly. Then score the top in a deep cross.
This is the dough before it goes in the oven. As you can see, it’s formed into a round pancake, about 1½” (3cm) thick, and deeply scored with a cross across the top.
Step 5: Place on a floured baking sheet, then put in the oven and cook for about 35 minutes. The loaf will still be quite pale once cooked. Don’t expect, or wait for it to be golden brown.
Step 6: Check it is cooked – flip it off the baking sheet and give it a tap, if it is done it will sound hollow.
Because the loaf doesn’t have much time to rise, it will never achieve a particularly light texture.
This no yeast bread recipe will always result in a hearty, rustic loaf that’s best enjoyed fresh from the oven and dripping with lashings of butter.
Can I Make a Vegan No Yeast Loaf?
Absolutely yes! Use your favourite soy or nut milk, and add one tablespoon of lemon juice just before mixing the dough.
Can I Make Emergency No Yeast Bread with Gluten Free Flour?
This recipe doesn’t work with gluten free wheat flour, so I’m afraid not. Sorry! We are working on it though, so watch this space!
I’m Out of Milk! What Can I Do?
You can use a 50:50 mixture of yogurt and water instead. Mix the two well together before adding to the flour. Or you can use powdered milk. Stir the milk powder into the flour with the baking powder and salt. Then add the water and stir to form the dough, and continue with the rest of the instructions.
Use water instead of milk
If you don’t have milk, yogurt, or milk powder you can make this bread with water and half a tablespoon of vegetable oil, or a knob of melted butter, margarine or baking spread. The milk makes it fluffer, lighter and softer, but at a pinch water and oil will do.
Can I Freeze Emergency No Yeast Bread?
Yes – this no yeast bread freezes well – I like to slice it, wrap in a plastic bag, freeze, then toast from frozen.
Can I make Emergency No Yeast Bread using cup measures?
Yes! But don’t mix cups and metric measurements.The conversions are given in the recipe below but please check using your favourite trusted conversion tool. Even better buy some kitchen scales. They are inexpensive and will result in far better baking as they are so much more accurate than using cups. Once you get used to them weighing ingredients will become second nature.
Hints, tips & variations
This recipe works, we and many other people have made this loaf successfully many many times. Common problems are because:-
- The baking powder is stale – test it as shown above.
- The wrong flour is used – you need to use everyday plain / all purpose flour – not bread, strong, gluten free or wholegrain.
- The measurements are wrong – I always weigh my ingredients, cup conversions are not always accurate. Watch the video – if too dry add more liquid, if too wet add more flour.
- The dough is over handled – it needs a light touch and gentle shaping.
- The dough is too thick and hasn’t been scored. The bread will not rise and it will not cook in the middle.
- The oven is at the wrong temperature. Too hot and the outside will burn before the inside is cooked. Too cool and the bread won’t rise. Most oven thermostats are notoriously inaccurate and will be consistently too hot or too cold. If you plan on baking more than once a month then buy an oven thermometer and adjust the thermostat to reflect the actual temperature.
Serve hot fresh from the oven of freshly toasted spread thickly with butter and topped with:-
- Coronation Chicken
- Bean chilli
- Homemade curry when you can’t be fussed to make pilau rice.
- Homemade cherry jam.
Emergency No Yeast Bread
- 500 g plain flour (regular cake or all purpose flour not bread or wholewheat / wholegrain)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 310 ml milk (or water with a spoon of oil or melted butter)
- Test the baking powder is still good by putting a teaspoon in a small dish and pouring boiling water over. It should immediately bubble and fizz vigorously.
- Heat the oven to 190°C Fan (210°C regular) / 375°F / GM 6. Place a baking stone or heavy baking sheet in the oven to heat.
- Mix the dry ingredients. Stir in the milk, and stir the ingredients until the milk is mixed with with flour and forms a dough. It's easiest to do this with your hands rather than a wooden spoon.
- Turn the dough out onto your work surface and knead briefly until the dough has a uniform consistency.
- Shape the dough into a round disc, about an inch to an inch and a half (about 3 cm) thick. Score the top deeply with an X. This is important! Don't make a round ball of dough as it won't cook in the middle.
- Bake on the hot stone or baking sheet for about 35 minutes until pale brown. (This loaf won't turn a deep gold so don't wait too long to check it.) When ready, it should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Important! We cannot stress enough that the dough needs to be a flat pancake - not more than 1.5" (3 cm) deep when it goes into the oven, or it will not cook properly in the middle.
- If you don't have milk you can make some up with powdered milk, mix up yogurt and water, or use water with a spoon of oil or melted butter or spread.
- Delicious served freshly baked for breakfast with our homemade Seville Orange Marmalade
This recipe was originally posted in March 2011, and updated in November 2017. Here’s the rather rustic loaf from our original post.