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 (515g) 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

194 Comments

  1. Now I have to make this!!! I have my go to soda bread recipe but now I have to try yours. I can’t wait!

    1. I hope you love this recipe just as much!

  2. This looks so good, Sally! Nice comfort food when we’re stuck inside atm…can’t wait to try it with herbs first up, but the cinnamon sugar & raisin one sounds good too 😀

    1. So many delicious choices! Let me know what you end up trying, Gemma 🙂

  3. Betty Wilhite says:

    Can you make this bread in a rectangular loaf pan? Or in a rectangular shape in a flat pan. Would like to have it in a ‘loaf’ rather than a ’round’?

    1. Hi Betty! As noted, I don’t recommend a loaf pan. Any baking pan large enough to fit an 8 inch round loaf (with some room to expand) works.

  4. Donna Fickenscher says:

    Looks so yummy. I have rosemary growing in my patio so will try that one as well as with dried cranberries . Does it matter if I use unbleached flour?

    1. Thanks Donna! I use both interchangeably and haven’t detected a difference in this bread.

  5. Do you think melted margarine would work as a substitute for the melted butter in this recipe? Or any other suggestion if we don’t have butter on hand? Thanks.

    1. Hi Kate, you can try it. You’ll lose the butter flavor though.

  6. This sounds so delicious. I will take your suggestion with the addition of cinnamon and raisins. I don’t buy bread often, and this a quick homemade version will allow me to make it without worrying if I have yeast in the house. Thank you for such a user friendly recipe right now.

    1. You are so welcome, Courtney! If you end up making it, I’d love to know what you think 🙂

  7. Could you halve this recipe? It’s just we two now and we don’t go through bread that quickly. Thank you!

    1. I can’t see why not! I’m unsure of the bake time.

  8. Can self-rising flour be substituted for the ap flour, salt and baking soda?

    1. Unless you are confident doing some recipe testing to determine the best amount, I don’t recommend the switch. Let me know if you try anything!

      1. I’ve done some baking with self-rising flour (Washington brand) and it contains salt and baking powder, not soda. Don’t know if other brands are the same.

        Thank you for this recipe, Sally! I have no yeast in the house, and the yeast you recommend is completely sold out on Amazon. I’m looking forward to making this bread – will try the plain version first to serve with some homemade vegetable soup.

  9. Can you use almond milk in place of milk?

    1. Hi Sandy, see my recipe note about replacing the buttermilk.

    2. I used almond milk and lemon juice for my buttermilk, as well as Earth Balance vegan butter instead of normal butter (I left out some of the salt because EB is salted), and it worked really well. It’s super moist and flavorful, with a great texture. I also used honey, not sugar. I had to add a bit more flour because the dough started out too moist, but it just came out of the oven and it is absolutely delicious.

      1. So happy to read this, Allie!

  10. Definitely trying this! However I’m out of butter are there any substitutions like oil that would work? Thanks!

    1. None that I’ve tried.

      1. I used 2 tablespoons of apple sauce in place of the butter and it turned out pretty good!

  11. Hi Sally. Can you use the kitchen aid dough hook to make this one? Thanks

    1. You could, but it’s not necessary. It comes together quickly by hand and you don’t want to overwork the dough.

  12. Janet Miller says:

    Hi Sally! Thank you for posting the amount of flour by weight. When I convert 515 grams to ounces, it translates to 4.274374206705882 ounces, LOL. I will round that down to 4.25 ounces. Love you!

  13. Good Morning Sally! I’m gathering up the ingredients as I’m typing this. Here’s my science question for the day- I know in many cookies/cake recipes ingredients should be room temperature- what do you think about the buttermilk? Even though there is no yeast, I’m a wondering. Secondly, I’m making paremesan peppercorn bread- do you think I should lower the sugar amount? Too late to make adaptations for today, but I’m sure this will be a “keeper” recipe, so would love your opinion for the next time.

    1. Hi Lisa! The dough is easier to mix together if the buttermilk is room temperature (because it won’t solidify the butter), but I’ve made this with cold buttermilk (or the DIY buttermilk option) with zero issue. Either are fine. Feel free to reduce the sugar and use your seasoning!

  14. It’s in the oven right now! 🙂 Thanks for another great recipe.

    1. You are speedy! I hope you love it, Stephanie!

      1. Stephanie Gustafson says:

        My family loved it yesterday, fresh and warm, and it was great toasted this morning, too.

  15. Making your Soft CC cookies on repeat these past few weeks! Can’t wait you try this bread. Question: would the omission of the sweetener (honey or sugar) affect the bread? Or is it just for taste?

    1. You can use that, Kelly! Just follow the instructions on the package to make enough liquid for this recipe.

    2. Hi Priscilla! You can leave out the sugar if desired but at least 1 Tbsp would add a little something extra!

  16. Can I use 10% cream with vinegar in place of the buttermilk? It’s all I have!

    1. I haven’t tried that, but it shouldn’t be a problem. The bread may taste heavier than it should.

  17. Hi Sally,

    Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted one? And at what temperature should it be if I use a fan oven? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Thanks!

    1. You can use salted butter with no changes to the recipe. If using a convection oven, I always recommend lowering the oven temperature by 25 degrees F.

  18. I can’t wait to try this! Could this be baked in a dutch oven? Would you recommend with or without the lid?

    1. You can definitely bake this no yeast bread in a lined or greased dutch oven. Keep the lid on for a slightly crispy crust, but it’s not fully necessary. The bake time may be longer.

  19. Thank you for this timely recipe! Made it for dinner last night and the whole loaf is nearly gone. I think we like it even more than your other soda bread! It was easier too.
    Thanks again!!

    1. I’m so happy it was a hit! Thanks for your positive feedback 🙂

  20. This bread is wonderful Sally! I made it as soon as I saw the recipe come to my inbox. Skipped the oats, but topped with the coarse salt and some fresh ground pepper. It was delicious and hearty dipped into our chili.

  21. Could you make pretzels out of this dough?

    1. I don’t recommend it.

  22. Your video said to cut in the butter – in the recipe it says to melt the butter which is correct – I melted the butter and the dough was very runny I had to throw it all away. I did weigh all my ingredients?

    1. This video shows melted butter. My Irish Soda Bread recipe uses cold + cubed butter that you cut in.

  23. Do you think you could use this for french toast the next day?

    1. Absolutely.

  24. I made this bread tonight and my family and I loved it! thanks for the recipe, I love how it has ingredients that are already in the house. And very easy and quick to make.

    1. Thrilled your family enjoyed this recipe, Adriana! Thanks for your positive feedback 🙂

  25. Thanks for the great recipe. The bread succeeded amazingly. My family is impressed.

  26. I had never made bread before this. But with all this time on my hands I though I would go for it, however, yeast is sold out in stores. So I decided to make this recipe. It is sooooo good!! The recipe is simple at the flavour in the bread is amazing. 100% will make again.

    1. I’m so happy you will be making this again, Kate! I appreciate your positive feedback 🙂

  27. I made this bread twice today. It’s very quick and easy to prepared. The bread has such a delicious smell and subtle flavor. Is it the buttermilk? The honey? Whatever it is, it’s yummy! This is a keeper! Thanks for another great recipe, Sally!

  28. This bread is incredibly delicious! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. I used Oat Milk and vegan margarine and it turned out so delicious and flavourful! I can’t stop raving about it.

    1. I’m so happy it was a hit, Tania!

  29. thanks! it tastes like a dense cake/bread and I added oats and chia seeds into the dough for texture and it turned out magnificently ( first time baking bread)

    1. Way to go! So happy you made your first loaf of bread using this recipe 🙂

  30. Sushma Kini says:

    Dear Sally, Another thing this is my first attempt at bread baking and I cant tell you how happy I am that the whole thing got over almost instantly!!!!
    The only problem I faced was the base was hard.
    I didnt use oats or salt granules on top.
    Thanks once again for the wonderful recipe.
    Sushma

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