Don’t let one ingredient stop you from making homemade bread.
In times of crisis apparently people get to baking, which in these times of self isolation, has meant that many people have had only limited luck finding yeast on the supermarket shelves. Indeed, many baking supplies have been hit or miss at the grocery store. The same goes with ready made loaves of bread in some stores, too. If you’ve been wanting to bake up some bread, but haven’t got any yeast, then read on for some alternative recipes that just might save the day.
Yeast is the ingredient that gives most breads the wonderful light texture and enticing aroma that we’re used to. Yeast is brought to life in bread dough and this process creates a lot of air bubbles. This ensures that the bread isn’t too dense and has an enjoyable texture. To replicate some of that airiness without using yeast, you’ll have to use other leavening agents. One of the most popular for this purpose is baking soda.
If you enjoy Irish cuisine then you’ll probably already be familiar with soda bread. This type of bread won’t be as delicate as a loaf from the store, but is a very yummy and hearty form of bread. To make this type of yeast-free bread you’ll need flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk (the latter of which adds flavor as well as leavening power). Find the recipe here.
Baking Powder Bread
An alternative to making soda bread is to use baking powder- instead of baking soda and buttermilk. This type of yeast-free bread yields a similar result to soda bread, but it’s nice to have a backup in case baking supplies aside from yeast are also unavailable. Find the recipe here.
Another option is to make drop biscuits with baking soda. These can be made plain for a roll that’s really good with butter as an accompaniment to the main dish.
Or they can be made with added ingredients like ham and cheese or vegetables and cheese.
Finally if you don’t need a plain bread, you can always turn to quick breads like banana bread. Or mix it up with blueberry cream cheese loaf.
The advantages of baking soda, baking powder, and quick breads are that you don’t need to go through an elaborate proofing process to get them the rise.
Thousands of years ago people were baking bread without any commercial products and they did so by utilizing wild yeast. There are different types of yeast, the spores of which are present on the wind. If you can get a sourdough starter going with some of these wild yeast then you can always keep the starter on hand to make more bread with. However, this method can be very tricky to achieve, as wet flour with no yeast can begin to ferment into alcohol or worse- turn moldy. By some accounts the wild strains of yeast have more flavor than yeast from a packet, so it’s worth trying if you’re curious..
If you have the time then give this one a try, just know that you have plenty of other options available for delicious breads without buying yeast.