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. María del Pilar Rey says:

    The best easy bread I ever made. Today was the third time with an additional 2T of honey and some almonds, delicious!!! I also made the flat bread pizza, it works perfect, love your detailed recipes, all I made were perfect. Thank you Sally!!!

    1. Sharon Dunn says:

      Where I live, yeast is non-existent, and so is flour. But I’m going to keep searching until I find both. I’ve done nothing but bake for 7 weeks. Is all the extra weight worth it? Too tired to care.

  2. I have been wanting to make homemade bread during quarantine as well but cannot find yeast. I tried this recipe and I love it . It’s so easy and versatile being able to create different flavors in the bread. It is so good toasted and better the next day! Thank you Sally ! Can’t wait to try some of the other amazing looking recipes you have !

    1. Is there a substitute for baking soda as well? Basically, I want to use whole wheat flour with no yeast and no baking soda.

      1. Hi Nish, I don’t have a substitute for baking soda. I don’t recommend leaving it out!

  3. I just made for the first time and it worked!
    I’ve been obsessed with making bread from scratch and this was my first attempt.
    I don’t have yeast so I was pleasant to find this recipe, so easy!
    Few things, I didn’t have enough flour so I grind some oats on my Nutribullet to make oat flour, also instead of honey I used Maple Syrup. I was worried at first that the oat would take all the most away but dough was exactly the way you said it would be.
    The bread taste delicious, even though is heavy and dense, the flavor is light!
    Thank you very much and can’t wait to try another recipe!

  4. I didn’t have any buttermilk so I made my own with sour cream and milk. It was a much thicker buttermilk substitute than if I had done the milk and lemon suggestion. The dough was a bit dryer than yours in the video and harder to mold into the ball, but I got there! I was worried it was going to turn out gross, but I was sooo wrong. The bread turned out beautifully and is delicious!

    1. Great job, Jackie! Thanks for giving this recipe a try 🙂

  5. This was my first time making bread (other than challah) and it was great and so easy! I knew my husband was going to ask for bread with tonights salad and I didn’t want hi making an extra trip to the store and I am “saving” the 3 packets of yeast I was able to obtain from my neighbor for challah, so this was great and easy. I used half ww flour and next time I’ll addd fresh rosemary from our plant. Thank you!!

  6. S. Radhakrishnan (Ranjit) says:

    I was looking for a recipe to make non-yeasted bread and I stumbled upon your wonderful website. I decided that I would make the soda bread this evening. I followed your instruction to the tee, but strangely, in spite of scoring the top of the loaf as instructed, the loaf did not open at the top to bake the inside as it should have, but it cracked open on the side! I wonder why. Also, the inside was lumpy and not as airy as shown in your video. Could you please tell me where I am going wrong? Also, can I make this bread with whole wheat flour instead using the same measurements?

    I am a novice, and I am so interested in learning how to bake. By the way, I am an Indian, and I live in Chennai.

    1. Hi Ranjit, the bread will crack open around the sides (happened to me once!) if the scoring isn’t deep enough. That’s why the center of the bread didn’t cook evenly either. If you try the bread again, score a little deeper.

  7. Can I top it with steel cut oats?

    1. Sure can since they are just sprinkled on top.

      1. Thank you!

  8. Elizabeth C says:

    No yeast! And then I remembered you’d published this recipe. 2 questions: 1) As I have to make the buttermilk, is there a difference in flavor using lemon juice vs vinegar? Do you have a preference? 2) I have both whole and quick oats. Which is better on top? Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad you remembered, Elizabeth! There really isn’t a difference when making your own soured milk, they both work the same. I use whole oats on top. Enjoy 🙂

      1. Elizabeth C says:

        Thank you! At the moment I’m writing this it’s a problem I’m attempting to save. I never thought about weather possibly affecting the recipe. But seems it does. (Went up to 96 degrees today. Became Summer in the past 3 days. 96 inside as well. And the oven making the kitchen hotter!) I’m attempting to treat it as cookie dough and refrigerate so it can become a consistency I can form into something! I hope that helps!

  9. Chelsey Thomas says:

    Super yummy and so easy! Love the spongey texture.

  10. Isabella Cassinelli says:

    Hi! I see this bread should be baked at 204 degrees but my oven can reach just 150 degrees otherwise it will burn! For how long should I bake it then with 150 degrees? Thanks!

    1. I’m unsure of the exact bake time for 150C, but you can use your eyes to determine doneness– look for a browned crust and make sure the center (where the scoring is) is cooked through. A toothpick to test for doneness works, too.

  11. Hi Sally. I loved this recipe. I wanted to make it again but make two loaves. To save on mess I wanted to make them together. Do you think I could make a double batch in my kitchen aid mixer with the dough attachment? Or is this kind of dough not really meant to be made in those? Thanks.

    1. Hi Leslie! I don’t recommend using a mixer for this dough. It’s too sticky and could be over-worked. Just a big mixing bowl and a wooden spoon/rubber spatula. For best results, I recommend making the two batches of dough separately.

  12. Want to divide this dough in half and do 2 smaller loaves…..what should baking time be?

    1. I’m unsure of the exact bake time for smaller loaves, but you can use your eyes to determine doneness– look for a browned crust and make sure the center (where the scoring is) is cooked through. A toothpick to test for doneness works, too.

  13. This was my first time making bread and I couldn’t be happier! I am usually intimidated by bread recipes but this was super easy! I highly recommend watching the video as it helps to see how your dough is supposed to look.
    I live in Spain and buttermilk is hard to find so I made my own. I accidentally added more than I should have and my dough was stickier and denser but the end result was ok!
    I made half of this recipe and it turned out great. Mine took 25 min to bake.

  14. Hi Sally,

    We are vegan — any idea if it would work to sub Olive Oil for the butter and sour a milk alternative for the butter milk?

    1. Hi Patty, you can definitely try the olive oil substitution. See recipe note about using a soured nondairy milk substitute.

  15. Made this last night the minute I saw it in your newsletter. Thanks for another great post! Between this and the lemon blueberry cake I’m just going to be keeping buttermilk on hand.

  16. Amazing….my whole family is a fan of your recipes and also mine now for baking this wonderful bread…it’s such a saviour when there isn’t any yeast… It’s come out just the way you said it would!! Thanks s zil…

  17. Could I add olive oil into the batter, and garlic for a Sourdough bread flavor? And if I do add olive oil would 1/8 cup be enough or would it make a weird textured bread? Should I substitute some of the buttermilk for olive oil? Thanks, this looks really good, and easy.

    1. Hi Marcela, though I haven’t tested it, you can try to replace the butter with olive oil. I don’t recommend replacing any of the buttermilk with oil. Garlic is one of my favorite add-ins. See recipe notes.

  18. I was a little worried how this recipe would turn out with all the subs I made but it ended up delicious!! I cut the recipe in half, replaced half the flour with whole wheat flour, used olive oil instead of butter and made my own buttermilk. Next time I’ll try one of your suggested flavor additions. Thanks for a wonderful recipe, as usual! 🙂

  19. Brad Baxendell says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Since the stay-at-home orders, we have been baking bread non-stop and this was a great one to add to our arsenal. Do you have any suggestions for freezing bread? I feel very wasteful using so much aluminum foil and plastic wrap as we store our bread in the freezer. Have you found anything that keeps the bread safe in the freezer but can be reused? Thanks for any advice you have.

    1. Hi Brad! It’s certainly a time we’re all in the kitchen a little more. For reusable wrappings/storage, there’s none that I’ve found to keep it quite as fresh. Maybe others have ideas!

    2. Brad, try using a zip lock freezer bag to store your bread. I do this a lot.

  20. I loved how quickly this bread come together! I needed something to give to a friend on sorry notice, and this was the perfect recipe. The flavor from the buttermilk had to be one of my favorite parts about this bread. I’ll definitely be making this again!

  21. This bread is awesome! I did not have any yeast to make bread. I made this and it turned out great!! Added Parmesan cheese to flour and some dried rosemary. So delicious!!

  22. I made this recipe and it didn’t work out at all, bread was still doughy in the centre after the cooking time and took a further hour to bake. This then resulted in a very hard crust on the bottom.

    1. Hi Lisa, if you score the dough deep enough, it should cook nicely in the center. Sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you. If you try it again, score it a little deeper so the center can properly cook.

  23. I can’t find yeast and my boy wants bread. This no-yeast bread is just perfect. Easy to make and as tasty as store buy ones. Thanks again for the recipe. Is it possible to replace melted butter with vegetable oil?

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

  24. Made this for the first time (and another batch of your homemade cheese bread) on the weekend, and they both turned out wonderfully!! I used 1 cup of whole wheat flour (the rest regular flour) and it still tasted great. The buttermilk coating and oat topping take this up a notch!

  25. Hi. I’m making it now and am very happy to say it is rising. So fun. I put walnuts in mine as well.
    I plan to make more this week. Can I freeze the bread? If yes, for how long.

    Thanks so much.

  26. Grace Chee says:

    Simple and easy to bake. For a first timer, I think I did pretty good. Thank you, Sally!

    Would you be adding the photo upload function, so your apprentices can show our finished products to you, Sally?

    1. Hi Grace! So glad you enjoyed this no yeast bread. We’re unable to feature a photo upload function for many reasons including spam, site performance, volume, and other reasons. Feel free to upload on social media and tag me or email me!

  27. Can yogurt whey work as a substitute for buttermilk?

  28. No Yeast Bread is an amazing recipe! and no yeast!!! wow… the recipe cant get any easier! it has such a soft dense crumb!! You will love it!!

  29. If I halve this recipe will it just make a smaller loaf or it will it be a disaster? I don’t have enough flour 🙁

    1. Hi Jess, You should be able to cut the recipe in half!

  30. For the DIY buttermilk, can lactose-free milk be used?

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