No-Yeast Rustic Bread

Also called Irish Soda Bread. This is a perhaps the simplest bread recipe you’ll ever come across. Having made only breads with yeast, I would have never thought, it was possible to get a fresh loaf of bread in under an hour from prep to slicing! Yes, that’s how quick this recipe is.

Do keep in mind though that since the bread is leavened using baking soda, the taste and texture is going to be different than yeasted breads and even sourdough (which uses natural leavening and slow fermentation.) It’s denser, and similar to scones. But if you’re using for a really quick-fix for bread and something without yeast, then this is as great an option to exist, as any.

The buttermilk in this recipe is crucial, because that is what gives it the unique flavor. It can be made using two simple ingredients – milk and vinegar. To make 1 cup of buttermilk, we only need to add 1 tbsp of vinegar to 1 cup of milk and keep it aside till it splits naturally. 

A Dutch Oven is a heavy cast-iron cooking pot that is particularly great for making crusty breads. If you don’t have one, however, you can still bake this bread on a tray or pan.

You can add raisins/cranberries/walnuts to this recipe for a nice variation too. Add the mix-ins after the dough has come together and massage them into the dough.

No-Yeast Rustic Bread

If you thought you couldn't make bread without yeast, think again. This Irish soda recipe is hearty and pairs great with a bowl of warm soup!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr


  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¾ tsp Baking Soda
  • ¾ cup Milk
  • ¾ tbsp Vinegar



  • Making the Buttermilk – Measure milk in a bowl, add vinegar to it, stir it lightly, and keep aside for 15 minutes. The milk will curdle to give you buttermilk for the recipe!
  • Pre-heat the oven to 220 degree C. Sprinkle some flour on a baking tray/pan, keep aside.
  • Mix the flour, salt and baking soda together in a bowl. 
  • Add the prepared buttermilk and mix everything together. As the flour absorbs the liquid, it will get stickier. Resist the urge to add more flour.
  • Take the whole dough, shape into a rough circle, and transfer to the prepared pan. You may need to oil your hands first to handle the dough. Sprinkle some more flour on the dough, then score it (make a small cross ¼ inch deep)
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes until the bread turns golden brown. If the top starts to get too dark before 45 minutes, place a piece of foil over it to avoid too much browning.
  • Let the loaf cool completely before slicing.


  • If you don’t have vinegar, you can substitute lemon juice to make the buttermilk.
  • This dough does not require kneading. Use your hands to shape it as soon as the dry and wet ingredients have come together.

Join the Conversation

  1. Tuheena Arya says:

    Hi. Thanks for this receipe during lockdown. Can this b remade in a normal loaf shaped bread

    1. Yes make sure to line your pan with parchment/baking paper

  2. Hey. Can we bake this no whistle cooker? I have been baking my cakes in that.

    1. Hi Nipun, I haven’t tried making breads in a cooker. It may work but I don’t see why this shouldn’t work. Just use salt as a base for your cooking instead of water.

      1. The cooker i m talking about is for baking cakes and i never put water in that. Just the cake tin on a stand. Should i try it with salt or just like that? If salt then what qty to put in?

        1. About 1 cup of salt just to cover the base.

    2. Hi Priya, no this is dried shredded coconut, the kinds you get in supermarkets.

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