Homemade No Yeast Bread (Soda Bread)

This wonderfully easy and convenient no yeast bread is also known as soda bread. Adapted from my Irish Soda Bread, this dense loaf is made from just 6 ingredients and ready in about 1 hour. There’s no complicated shaping or kneading necessary and I offer plenty of flavor suggestions. We love this with oats and/or coarse salt sprinkled on top!

no yeast bread

Highly requested and majorly convenient if you (1) don’t have yeast and (2) crave bread, this no yeast bread comes at the perfect time! I adapted this recipe from my Irish Soda Bread, a recipe straight from my late grandmother’s kitchen. I made 3 loaves just this past week and am thrilled to share the simple process with you today.

This No Yeast Bread Is:

  • Ready in 1 hour
  • Made with 6 ingredients
  • Convenient if you don’t have or don’t want to use yeast
  • Dense, satisfying, and crusty
  • Delicious toasted or warm with honey butter
  • Made with buttermilk for extra flavor and richness
  • Wonderful plain or with optional flavors

no yeast bread

no yeast soda bread slices

The Exact Texture to Expect:

My no yeast bread has a crumbly golden brown crust with a dense, tight crumb inside. Since there’s no yeast, don’t expect an airy, light, or bouncy bread. If you want an airy yeast bread, I recommend my sandwich bread or artisan bread.


These Ingredients Are Crucial

This section is important to review if you’re wondering about ingredient substitutions or why certain ingredients are used.

  1. All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour is best for this loaf, though the same amount of bread flour may also be used without any changes to the recipe. See my recipe notes about whole wheat flour. I have not tested this recipe with gluten free alternatives.
  2. Salt: I use 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of fine sea salt for flavor, but have also tested this recipe with the same amount of regular table salt. Both are excellent.
  3. Baking Soda: This is a quick bread, so the bread rises without the use of yeast. Baking soda is our leavening agent and if you remember from my baking soda vs baking powder page, baking soda requires an acidic ingredient. Do not use baking powder– you will need an excessive amount in order for this bread to rise and that much baking powder will leave a chemical aftertaste.
  4. Butter: You’ll notice that I use melted butter in this loaf while my Irish Soda Bread uses cold butter that you cut into the flour. I played around with this dough A LOT and found that I could successfully use melted butter and skip the cutting step (in conjunction with leaving out the egg). The bread isn’t quite as heavy and rich as my grandmother’s recipe, but it’s still plenty flavorful.
  5. Honey or Sugar: Either work with zero changes to the recipe required.
  6. Buttermilk: Buttermilk, an acidic ingredient, adds richness, flavor, and aids in the loaf’s rise. If you don’t have buttermilk, see my recipe note about a DIY version.

A sprinkle of oats, seasonings, and/or coarse salt on top is optional!

ingredients in no yeast bread

No Yeast Bread Video Tutorial

Now that you understand why each ingredient is imperative to the recipe’s success, let’s watch a super quick recipe video. Yes, the process really is this easy!


Overview: How to Make No Yeast Bread

While the full recipe is written below, let’s quickly walk through the process with step-by-step pictures. I want you to be confident and have instant success!

  1. Combine the dry ingredients.
  2. Mix the honey and melted butter, then stir into the dry ingredients.
  3. In 2-3 additions, fold in the buttermilk to create a shaggy and slightly moist dough.
  4. Turn dough and any flour crumbles at the bottom of the bowl onto a work surface. Using your hands, bring the dough together into a ball then flatten into a 2 inch thick, 7-8 inch disc. These measurements don’t need to be totally accurate.
  5. Place onto a lined baking sheet or your baking pan of choice. (See next section.) Brush with a little more buttermilk and, if desired, sprinkle with some oats and/or coarse salt.
  6. Using a very sharp knife, score the top of the dough with an X that’s about 3/4 inch deep. This allows the center to bake.
  7. Bake until golden brown. Tent with aluminum foil halfway through baking to prevent the crust from over-browning before the center cooks through.

soda bread dough

no yeast bread dough

no yeast bread before baking

no yeast bread

Best Baking Pan to Use for No Yeast Bread

  • I usually use a half baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • You can also use a seasoned 10-12 inch cast iron skillet– feel free to pre-heat the skillet in the pre-heating oven, though that’s not necessary.
  • Greased 9-10 inch cake pan or pie dish.
  • A dutch oven large enough to fit the loaf. Line with parchment paper before placing the dough inside. Feel free to bake the bread with the lid on, which helps develop a crispier crust. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of baking. The bake time may be longer since the bread is in a closed pan for most of the oven time.
  • Any square or rectangular pan large enough to fit an 8-inch round loaf.

See all of my quick bread recipes. Excited for you to try this easy bread!

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no yeast bread

Homemade No Yeast Bread (Soda Bread)

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This dense, chewy, and satisfying no yeast bread rises with baking soda and buttermilk. Before beginning, review the blog post above, recipe notes below, as well as the video tutorial.


Ingredients

  • 4 and 1/4 cups (531g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and surface
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup; 60g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons honey (40g) or granulated sugar (25g)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (420ml) buttermilk, plus 1 Tablespoon for brushing the dough
  • optional: 1 Tablespoon whole oats and/or a sprinkle of coarse salt for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). There are options for the baking pan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, use a seasoned 10-12 inch cast iron skillet, or grease a 9-10 inch cake pan or pie dish. Set aside. Feel free to pre-heat the skillet in the oven too, though that’s not necessary.
  2. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the melted butter and honey/sugar together. Pour into the flour mixture and toss to combine. (The mixture won’t fully combine yet since there’s so little wet ingredients and so much flour.) In 2-3 additions, pour in the buttermilk mixing for 15-20 seconds after each addition. After all of the buttermilk has been added, mix gently to form a shaggy, stiff, and slightly moist dough. If you used honey, there could be little specks of honey/butter in spots. That’s ok! Those will be extra flavorful specks in your bread.
  4. Pour the shaggy dough and any flour crumbles that haven’t been incorporated onto a lightly floured work surface. With floured hands, work the dough into a ball and flatten into a (approximately) 7-8 inch disc as best you can (make it about 2 inches tall). If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  5. Transfer the disc to the prepared skillet/pan. Brush the whole loaf with 1 Tablespoon buttermilk. Using a very sharp knife, score a 3/4 inch deep X into the top. (Without scoring, the bread can’t bake properly in the center.) Sprinkle optional oats and/or coarse salt on top of the loaf.
  6. Bake until the bread is golden brown and center appears cooked through, about 45 minutes. Loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through bake time to protect the crust from over-browning before the center has a chance to cook.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool for 5 minutes before slicing. For best taste, though, let the bread cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. If you made a plain loaf, the slices are delicious spread with honey butter or your desired spreads. Slices taste wonderful toasted, too!
  8. Cover and store bread at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Baked and cooled bread freezes well up to 3 months. Freeze the whole loaf or individual slices. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then reheat as desired.
  2. Buttermilk: Using cold buttermilk is best. Buttermilk is key to the bread’s flavor, texture, and rise. The bread will not rise without it. If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can make a homemade “DIY” version. Whole milk or 2% milk is best, though lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch. Add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 and 3/4 cup. Whisk together, then let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe.
  3. Alternative Flours: Instead of all-purpose flour, you can use the same amount of bread flour with no other changes needed to the recipe. If you’d like to use all whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, expect an extremely dense and heavy loaf. Instead, I recommend using half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. Still, the bread will taste pretty heavy. If you’re interested, here are all my recipes using whole wheat flour. I have not tested this bread with any gluten free alternatives, so I’m unsure of the result. Let me know if you do! If you’re interested, here are all my gluten free recipes.
  4. Optional Flavor Additions: Feel free to add flavor to this bread by mixing any of the following or a combination of them in with the flour in step 2: 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or other chopped fresh herb, 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or other shredded cheese, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 diced jalapeño, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning or other ground seasoning/herb, 2 cloves minced garlic, or 1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or other small dried fruit. Sometimes I add 1 extra Tablespoon of sugar/honey, 1 cup raisins, and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
  5. Best Baking Pan to Use: I like using a regular sheet pan because it’s easy, convenient, and universal to most kitchens. I do not recommend a loaf pan because the loaf may not bake evenly inside. This dough is best as a flatter loaf. See blog post above for different pans.

Keywords: soda bread, no yeast bread, quick bread

no yeast bread

163 Comments

  1. Turned out great!

  2. How does it do in a loaf pan?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Linda, we do not recommend a loaf pan. See the recipe notes for more details!

      1. Thank you. I might be interested in trying to make some bread; it may have been years since I’ve eaten loaf bread, and it might be a treat for me.

  3. Absolutely purrrr-fect
    Turned out great and exactly as pictured.
    Anyone looking at baking this in Germany: I used „Natron“ in exactly same way and „Farina di grano tenera 00“ as flour.
    Thx so much for this recipe

  4. Delicious and super easy! Made with fresh rosemary and sprinkled both oatmeal and course salt on top which added a lovely texture. Paired with a butternut squash bisque and served for lunch on a cold rainy day. House smelled heavenly during baking. Will definitely make again!

  5. CursedintheKitchen says:

    Thank you for this great recipe. I was able to follow it with a mixed flour, and adding vinegar to milk. I’m not originally from where I currently am, and although I cook and bake fine back home, I seem to be cursed in it here. My in-laws are certainly getting a bad impression of me in the kitchen and have become wary of taste testing. You have brought back a little faith in me and in myself. Thank you!!!

  6. Actually question, could you use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Susan! If you’d like to use all whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, expect an extremely dense and heavy loaf. Instead, we recommend using half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. Still, the bread will taste pretty heavy. If you’re interested, here are all our recipes using whole wheat flour.

      1. Thank you. Im going to try this. Ill let you know .

  7. Can I cut the dough in small rounds and bake them; will it not rise if the dough is cut as much as it would of its a whole??

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Elai! Some bakers have reported success baking this bread is smaller loaves, but we haven’t tested it ourselves. Let us know if you give it a try!

    2. Made this recipe 4 times this week, using half white and half wheat flour. Delicious. One time I halfed the recipe but accidentally put the full amount of butter and sugar in it. Talk about yummy!! Thank you, Sally for this no yeast bread recipe.

  8. Your soda breads have been making me look like a Rock Star baker! This one was another huge win (made, and loved Grandma’s Soda bread, last week). This one was a bit lighter and the crust is less flakey and more like what I usually expect from a crust. This one comes together a bit faster. I feel like they are different enough to keep both in rotation. Using the honey was fun, I really liked having the little pops of sweetness. I topped with some steel cut oats. Just an absolutely beautiful bread. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I have tried quite a few of your recipes now and have had tons of success. The perfectly specific directions, videos and helpful hints are, I think, what has made everything so easy. I am new to baking but I love it so much!
    This was my first foray into bread-making. I made it for St. Patrick’s Day. Both my Irish husband and mom were gushing over it and requested I make it again soon. Tonight it will accompany Irish Stew!
    It will be great clean the sides of our bowls.
    I did a sprinkling of kosher salt and oats last time, which really made it special.
    Thank you so much for all of the amazing recipes.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Thank you so much for letting us know how this bread went for you, Amanda!

    2. Hi there you are absolutely awesome, thanks for your wonderful recipes!! I wonder if any butter will do? Unsalted ? Regular butter ?

      1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Unsalted is best!

  10. Hi, I’m going to try and bake your No Yeast Bread (Soda Bread) very soon. I’d like to use it for sandwiches so would it work if I shaped it in a loaf shape instead of round? Also, I’d like to top it with some oats — quick oats OK or should I use regular? Thanks so much.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Diane, we do not recommend a loaf pan. See the recipe notes for more details. Regular oats (whole, not quick) will be best for topping this bread. Enjoy!

      1. Hi, thank you so responding. I won’t use a loaf pan but would it work to shape the dough in a loaf rather than round?I would like to slice it for sandwiches.

  11. I have never make a successful bread recipe without yeast until now. I tried this recipe in a rush, approximately measuring the ingredients, I didn’t have so I decided to use butter instead and used sugar instead of honey (so I expected a loaf that was a bit lighter than if I used honey). The bread came out of the oven beautifully coloured, I let the bread cool down for a bit and my family didn’t think that it would be good but when I cut the bread it was so fluffy and amazing. I can’t believe I can make a bread that amazing in less than an hour. Sorry this review was a little long but I am just soo happy.

    1. I forgot to add that I used water instead of buttermilk and I didn’t have baking soda on hand and I decided to use 3 x the amount of baking powder because I read somewhere that it would be a proper substitution. With all the substitution I used, I am soo surprised and happy that it came out the way it did

  12. Love this bread. Made the cinnamon raisin version. It was AMAZING!

  13. I do have a question though. The bottom of my loaf got a bit to dark and it was way to crunchy (actually a bit hard to even cut through). Any suggestion on how to keep this from happening? I used parchment paper on a sheet pan.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Hayden, If you decide to try this soda bread recipe again, feel free to reduce the oven temperature and bake for longer. This should prevent the bottom from burning and slowly cook the center too. Hope you still enjoyed the bread!

  14. Yve Middleton says:

    Can you use UHT milk to make the buttermilk. We live on remote islands with virtually no access to fresh milk.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Yve, that should work just fine. Let us know how it goes!

  15. Hi Sally, can I substitute butter with olive oil?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Eniz, though we haven’t tested it, you can try to replace the butter with oil. You will lose a little flavor though.

  16. Jennifer Koch says:

    Thank you- this is the first time I ever made such an easy bread! I used rosemary and Parmesan – it’s perfect! Beautiful crusty edge – light and fluffy interior! It was a little wet when I dumped it out but just needed a little more flour on the table and hands

  17. Made with rosemary and Parmesan and was delish! Question – can the dough be made in advance and refrigerated till baking later in the day or does it need to be baked right away?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Susan, sounds delicious with rosemary and parmesan! It’s best to bake the bread right away, as the baking soda will be activated once the dough is mixed.

  18. I want to make two loaves. Can I bake them both at once, or do I need to bake separately?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Melissa! For best results, we recommend making the two batches of dough separately instead of doubling. You should be able to bake them at the same time – can you fit them on the same rack in your oven?

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