Recipes

No yeast? No regular flour? Five ways to bake bread without them

Innovative recipes for a yeast-free amasi soda bread, a flour-free cabbage bread and other tasty loaves

21 July 2021 - 09:32
Amasi soda bread.
Amasi soda bread.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

The civil unrest in parts of the country last week left many unable to get their hands on fresh bread, and the flour and yeast needed to bake their own.

Should there be another shortage, it is reassuring to know you can bake tasty loaves without these essential ingredients.

Here’s how:

NO YEAST? TRY THESE RECIPES

AMASI SODA BREAD

No kneading is needed to bake this quick and easy yeast-free loaf.

Makes: 1 loaf

Ingredients:

500g (4 cups) cake flour

5ml (1 tsp) salt

5ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda 

500ml (2 cups) amasi or buttermilk *

Flour to sprinkle over

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, bicarb and salt. Mix through.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the amasi/buttermilk. Using your hands, mix the buttermilk through to bring the dough together. Do not overmix as this will make a tough dough.
  4. Place the dough on a floured surface and shape as desired, ensuring whatever shape you make is no taller than 3cm — this ensures it cooks through. I shaped a rectangular loaf. Using a sharp knife, score diagonal lines on top of dough. Sprinkle flour over the top.
  5. Place on a sprayed baking tray and bake for 15 minutes at 200°C, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes. If it browns too quickly, reduce the temperature to 160ºC. If you tap the loaf underneath and it sounds hollow it is ready.
  6. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy. 

* Don’t have amasi or buttermilk? You can use the same amount of plain yoghurt or add 15ml (1 tbsp) of fresh lemon juice to 500ml milk, stir through and allow to stand for 5 minutes to thicken.

SEED-CRUSTED WHITE BREAD

You can bake this yeast-free bread from start to finish in around 60 minutes.

Seed-crusted white bread.
Seed-crusted white bread.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

Makes: 1 loaf

Ingredients:

500g (4 cups) self-raising flour *

5ml (1 tsp) salt

125ml (½ cup) water

125ml (½ cup) full cream milk

A handful of mixed seeds

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt and mix through.
  3. Combine the water and milk. If you want to you can add 30ml (2 tbsp) oil for a richer dough.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the water and milk. Using a round bladed knife, bring the dough together. If it is too dry, add a little water.
  5. On a lightly floured surface gently knead the dough and then shape as desired, ensuring that whatever shape you create isn’t taller than 3cm so the loaf bakes through without burning. I shaped my loaf into a round. Then, using a cutter or sharp knife, cut a cross through the top of the dough.
  6. Sprinkle over seeds, trying to avoid the cut-cross section, and press down the seeds.
  7. Place on a sprayed baking tray and bake for 15 minutes at 200°C, then reduce the temperature to 180°C and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes. If it browns too quickly, reduce the temperature to 160°C. If you tap the loaf underneath and it sounds hollow it is ready.
  8. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy. 

* No self-raising flour? Use cake flour and add 15ml (3tsp) baking powder.

NO REGULAR FLOUR OR YEAST? TRY THESE RECIPES

COCONUT BREAD

Coconut flour is a more affordable option than pricier flour alternatives like almond flour. This bread is dairy-free, gluten-free and, for those avoiding carbs, carb- free.

Coconut bread.
Coconut bread.
Image: Sunday Times Food archives

Makes: 1 small/medium loaf

Ingredients:

4 extra large eggs

60ml (4 tbsp) olive oil

60ml (4 tbsp) coconut milk *

15ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh herbs, optional

1 handful of mixed seeds, optional, plus seeds for the top

5ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda

5ml (1 tsp) salt

80ml (⅓ cup) flaxseed meal

185ml (⅔ cup) coconut flour

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease or spray a medium loaf pan or 4- 6 individual loaf pans (it’s also good made in muffin pans) and line the base of the loaf pan with greaseproof paper.
  2. Using a hand held electric mixer, beat the eggs with the oil, milk and herbs if using until well combined. Add the seeds, bicarb, salt and mix well. Lastly add the flax meal and the coconut flour.
  3. Pour into chosen pan, sprinkle with extra seeds if desired. Bake for 30-40 minutes until firm if using a bread pan. For individual loaves or muffins bake for 20 minutes.

* You can replace the coconut milk with cows’ milk if you don’t need a non-dairy version of this loaf.

FRENCH SOCCA

Made from chickpea flour, these savoury flatbread-like crepes are great eaten on their own with a sprinkling of olive oil and grated cheese, but can also be topped with fillings and rolled up like a wrap.

French gluten-free crepe (socca).
French gluten-free crepe (socca).
Image: Supplied

Makes: 12 small flatbreads

Ingredients:

150g chickpea flour

5ml (1 tsp) salt

30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

300ml warm water

Freshly ground black pepper

15ml (1 tbsp) fresh herbs of choice, finely chopped

Sunflower oil to grease the pan

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl combine the flour and salt.
  2. In a jug mix together the olive oil and water.
  3. Make an indentation in the flour and add the oil and water, pepper and herbs and, using a whisk, stir until smooth.
  4. Cover and allow to stand for 15 minutes. The mixture must have a pourable consistency. If it is too thick, add a little more water and whisk.
  5. Pour the mixture into a jug. 
  6. Heat up a non-stick pan. Pour in a tablespoon of oil, swirl around the pan and pour off before adding 15-30ml of socca mixture and swirling around pan.
  7. Cook for 2 minutes until the edges are dry. Carefully turn to cook on the other side.
  8. Slide out of the pan onto a plate and make the next one.

CABBAGE BREAD

In their book Banting: 7 Day Meal Plans (Quivertree, R350), authors Rita Venter, Natalie Lawson and Kim Blom share this easy recipe for a cabbage bread that can be baked in the microwave in a matter of minutes before being browned in a hot pan.

Cabbage bread from the cookbook 'Banting: 7 Day Meal Plans'.
Cabbage bread from the cookbook 'Banting: 7 Day Meal Plans'.
Image: Quivertree

Serves: 1-2

Ingredients:

250ml (1 cup) grated cabbage 

1 egg

2.5ml (½ tsp) baking powder

Pinch of salt

15ml (1 tbsp)  butter (or banting-friendly oil of choice)

Method:

  1. Place cabbage in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out moisture.
  2. Place squeezed cabbage in a bowl with egg, baking powder, salt and any other spices you enjoy, and mix together well.
  3. Place mixture in a rectangular microwave dish and microwave on high for 4½ minutes.
  4. Melt butter in a frying pan and fry bread on both sides until browned.

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