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7 Delicious Yeastless Breads From Around the World

 Bread may not be the healthiest food out there, but it’s so convenient and easy that excluding it from one’s diet completely is difficult and frankly unreasonable, especially if you’re often eating on-the-go and can’t drop by the farmer’s market or supermarket every other day to restock fruit and vegetables. That being said, store-bought bread and even yeast can be in short supply these days, since many people have started baking their own bread when the pandemic has started.
But instead of getting upset and discouraged in homemade bread, let’s take advantage of these uncertain times to reinvent bread to ourselves and try one of these 7 fascinating traditional bread varieties from different corners of our planet. Not only is it fun and relaxing to bake these new breads, but it’s also much healthier to diversify the bread you eat on a daily basis.

1. Barmbrack

yeastless bread recipes Barmbrack

Let’s start this list with a truly delightful bread variety from Ireland - barmbrack. The name of the bread comes from “báirín breac”, which roughly translated as speckled bread from Irish. Barmbrack is a dark bread with lots of dried fruit, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and it’s traditionally eaten during the Celtic festival of Samhain, a celebration of the end of the harvest season.

An interesting custom during the festival requires bakers to mix in symbolic objects like coins and rings that are said to bring either good or bad luck for those who bite into them. If you’d like to try making this bread at home, here is a quick recipe.

1 ¾  cup (248g) raisins and 1 ¾  cup (248g) sultanas
Zest of 1 large orange and 1 large lemon
2 cups black tea
1 ⅓  cup (227g) dark brown sugar
3 cups (426g) flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
¼  tsp ground cinnamon, ¼  tsp nutmeg, ¼  tsp cloves, and  ¼  tsp ginger

For directions, follow this video recipe or read a written version of the recipe with this link:


2. Icelandic Volcano Bread

yeastless bread recipes Icelandic Volcano Bread

Called Hverabrauð in Icelandic, this volcanic rye bread is one of the most unconventional ways to prepare bread because it's traditionally made in hot spring water. Iceland is a country with a lot of tectonic activity and 30 active volcanoes and countless hot springs, and local bakers found a clever way to harness the volcanic power of the hot springs to make a special kind of bread. A rye-based dough is transferred into a pot and buried completely into the hot sands of a nearby spring for 24 hours, which yields a deliciously chewy steamed loaf.

Now, most of us don't have hot springs nearby, but you can mimic these environmental conditions by slow-cooking the dough in the oven overnight at 200°F (93°C) for about 8 hours.

3 cups rye flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup golden syrup
2 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
750ml kefir (or buttermilk)

For directions, follow this video recipe:


3. Canned Boston Brown Bread

yeastless bread recipes Canned Boston Brown Bread

Canned bread may sound like a very strange novelty food, but it's actually a long-standing Boston favorite. The history of this New England special dates all the way back to Pilgrims who had to adjust the way they made bread because of wheat shortages and replace a third of the wheat flour with rye and another third with cornmeal. The result was a sweet, sticky, dark bread that was often steamed to enhance all of those characteristics.

This recipe was embraced by Boston bakers, who made another important improvement to it during the early 19th century when cans became more widespread. They reused coffee cans to prepare this steamed cylindrical bread and served the bread with baked beans and sausages. If you'd like to make this fun and unusual bread at home, here is an easy recipe.

¾ cup rye flour
¾ whole wheat bread 
¾ white cornmeal
1 ¼ baking soda
½ baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ⅔ cup buttermilk
½ cup molasses
2 tbsp butter
¾ cup raisins (optional)

For directions, follow this video recipe:

4. Carta di Musica​

yeastless bread recipes Carta di Musica
Image Source: Marco Assini/ Flickr

Carta di musica, also known as Pane Carasau is a Sardinian flatbread that is very simple to make and can last for months. The name 'carta di musica' comes from how thin the bread must be to turn out right, thin enough to be able to read a sheet of music through it. The result is a thin and crispy dried bread that goes perfectly with any kind of dip and smells divine.

Traditionally, carts di musica is the bread Sardinian shepherds would take with them in the fields and they paired it together with other simple local foods like wine, cheese, and olives. You can get a taste of the Sardinian countryside by easily making this delicious bread at home by following this step by step recipe by King Arthur Flour.

5. Cherokee Bean Bread

yeastless bread recipes Cherokee Bean Bread
Image Source: YouTube

This soft and moist Cherokee bread is nothing like you've tasted before, and it resembles a dumpling rather than a traditional bread variety. Using two staple ingredients of the Cherokee cuisine, corn, and beans, this bread is made of a dough-based on cornflour (also known as masa harina) and cooked brown beans, that are shaped into flat squares, rolled in corn leaves or corn husks and steamed for an hour.

Since finding corn husks may be difficult, you can swap them for aluminum foil if you wish for a close approximation of the traditional bread. Learn to make this unconventional bread in the following video recipe or by clicking here for a written version of the recipe.

3 cups cornflour
½ cup lard
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup cooked brown beans
2 cups bean cooking liquid
Dried corn husks

6. Beer Bread

yeastless bread recipes Beer Bread
Image Source: Marc Bonica/ Flickr

Beer bread was a popular recipe in 16th and 17th-century European cookbooks, and we totally understand why, as this bread is super easy to make and doesn't require any yeast. Back in the day, “barm”, which is a foam made during beer fermentation was used by bakers to leaven this soft dough, but a 12-ounce bottle of beer will have the same impact. Any beer will do for this recipe, but try to opt for something with not a very strong and pronounced taste.

Here is a super easy and quick recipe for beer bread.

3 cups self-rising flour
3 tsp baking powder
¼ cup of sugar
1 small can or bottle of beer
¼ cup of melted butter

7. Peanut Butter Bread

yeastless bread recipes Peanut Butter Bread
Image Source: Reddit
Peanut butter bread sounds like one of those novel gluten-free recipes, much like Almond Bread, but this recipe is actually surprisingly old. The recipe most people use today comes from the Great Depression era, from the 1932 Canadian cookbook title “Five Roses: A Guide to Good Cooking” by Elizabeth Driver.
We now realize that this recipe is quite healthy, as it's low in carbs, but the housewives of the 1930s liked this recipe because of its simple and affordable ingredients, namely flour, peanut butter, milk, and a pinch of salt and sugar. Here is how you can make this bread at home:
2 cups flour
¼ cup of sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 ⅓ cup milk
½ tsp salt
½ cup peanut butter
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