Are you out of flour? Yeast? Only have wheat kernels but no grinder? Here are three easy bread recipes for beginners and seasoned bread bakers alike. Each recipe allows for a key missing ingredient from classic bread recipes. If you can’t get to the store before you need to make bread, don’t worry! You can make easy bread recipes with these tutorials!
Remember first that “bread” is a very relative word. Pretty much every culture on earth has a classic bread recipe from loaf breads to flat breads to flapjacks! The best part about the following recipes is that they’re a lot healthier than most store bought breads.
Easy Bread – Recipes to Make With Limited Ingredients
There are A LOT of easy bread recipes we could feature but we chose to keep it simple on purpose. When you need to make bread for the family and have just discovered that you’re out of a key ingredient, it needs to be simple!
#1 – No Yeast, No Problem!
Of all the things to run out of yeast is probably the simplest to replace. From baking soda bread to sourdough, there are several ways to make your bread rise.
Baking soda on its own isn’t really a leavening agent, but when mixed with acidic ingredients like sour milk, it works to raise various baked goods. Here’s this from The Joy of Cooking,
“[Baking Soda] gives one of the very tenderest crumbs. The proportion of baking soda to sour milk or buttermilk is usually one teaspoon soda to one cup sour milk.”
The texture of bread made with baking soda is different than yeast bread but it will work for breakfast, lunch or dinner and pairs well with cheese or simple veggies. To learn to make good soda bread, please consider the links at the end of this article. I’ve gathered up some of my favorites!
We have a favorite soda bread we make for St. Patrick’s Day that comes in two colors – both NATURALLY colored. One is golden and one is red (we call it redhead soda bread).
>>>>—Click on the link for Golden & Redhead Soda Bread—<<<<
Baking soda can be irritating to some people’s gut health, though. If that’s you, try the sourdough recipe below.
Sourdough, aka Natural Leaven
Sourdough is a collection of wild yeasts and beneficial bacteria that traditionally feed on grain flours. (You can culture sourdough with gluten free flour, but it’s a little trickier.) As the sourdough feeds on the grain it releases bubbles that will expand bread dough, causing it to rise. As the bread is baked, the height of the dough is set.
This is essentially what store bought yeast does but it has been isolated away from the other wild yeasts and bacteria. This isolated yeast is stabilized and packaged, and therefore very convenient. However, it can be caustic to some digestive systems. I for one have a very hard time digesting store bought, yeast bread products. I do much better with completely naturally leavened (no commercial) yeast breads.
Where to Find Starter
To purchase sourdough starter, please visit Cultures for Health. I highly recommend their site for learning more about sourdough, and every other fermented food!
Another good place to look for sourdough starter is your natural food store. You can also reach out to your local friends and family and see if anyone has starter they can share.
Though it requires more effort than buying starter, you can make your own sourdough culture. Please visit the links at the bottom of the article to learn more.
Benefits of Sourdough
With a sourdough culture you need never rely on store bought yeast again! In fact, running out of yeast may become a blessing since there is evidence to show that people who struggle with grain consumption can often eat and digest sourdough breads well. It turns out that naturally leavened bread is more nutrient dense, too!
Click on the link to visit Learning and Yearning of the Health Benefits of Sourdough.
Why Sourdough is Easy Bread
You may have read about using a sourdough starter for breads and felt intimidated. Or, perhaps you’ve tried baking with sourdough and you couldn’t get the hang of it. Here’s some encouragement from our book, The Do It Yourself Homestead:
“Learning to use a sourdough starter is NOT too hard for you, I promise. It’s keeping it alive that takes concentration – ha! Sometimes I completely neglect my starter and force it to the brink of death. Other times, I’m totally on my game and have starter coming out my ears. Feast or famine is my personality, I guess. What kind of sourdough starter parent are you?
- I often end up with extra starter and the most common thing to do with it is to make pancakes or waffles.
- You can also whip up some bagels, pretzels and English muffins using your favorite recipe. We need to stop thinking of using sourdough starter only for bread. Bread is still intimidating to some of us and there are plenty of other tasty treats to bake up.
- Starter can be added to any regular batter you have going from cookies to breakfast cake to banana bread. You can let your batter sit on your counter to ferment with the starter in it, or you can mix the leaven right in and bake immediately. If it sits, the starter will start to break down the grains in your batter (which makes them healthier), but it will change the texture of your finished product. …
- Likewise, starter can be added to any yeast bread recipe you have in the works—compensate by adding a little less wet to your batter. …
“Sourdough is something that works its way into your lifestyle and, eventually, making a loaf of bread won’t be as intimidating as it might be right now. I’ve found that using sourdough has somehow made baking bread stuffs easier—but that could totally be a personality thing or just a weird quirk of mine. Keeping a starter alive is work, but it has sweet rewards.”
For many sourdough recipes, see the bottom of the article. To get you started, here’s our current favorite load sourdough recipe.
>>>>—Click on the link for Maple Sourdough Bread—<<<<
#2 – No Flour, No Problem!
What?! How can we make bread with no flour? I’m really referring to wheat flour, which is a traditional bread baking carbohydrate. There are several no-wheat easy bread options, though not all of them are loaf breads. Here’s a quick list of breads that don’t have wheat flour:
- Loaf bread made with wheat free flour mixes – this one is a homemade gluten free mix
- Dosas, which are an Indian flat bread made with lentils and rice
- Cassava flour tortillas
- Loaf bread made with almond flour
For an assortment of flatbread recipes like dosas and tortillas, please visit the links at the bottom of the post. I’ve especially included a link for a recipe for dosas that is very similar to the one we use. I love traditionally fermented dosas made from lentils and rice.
I have a hard time eating more than one wheat flour tortilla and cassava flour can get expensive. However, these dosas are naturally fermented and SO much easier for me to digest.
#3 – No Grinder, No Problem!
If you’re the kind that keeps bulk food in your pantry storage, you might have wheat kernels stored. You’d read that it was a good idea to have some basic foods in storage and so you purchased quality, healthy options. (For healthy food storage options, be sure to visit the links below.)
However, for whatever reason, you don’t actually have a wheat grinder, despite the fact that you have wheat kernels in your storage. Or, you have a manual wheat grinder and you don’t have time to sit and manually grind six cups of fresh flour! I first ran across this method of bread dough preparation at the Provident Homemaker – and it’s genius!
If you have a blender and some wheat kernels, you can make this bread.
Soaked Wheat Kernel Bread
If you follow Provident Homemaker’s recipe, you will have gorgeous bread that looks like any wheat loaf you’d make with all regular flour. If, like me, you run out of flour and only have wheat kernels, you can make the recipe below and get a decent looking loaf that’s robust on flavor.
I’ll give you the instructions for a high power blender (like my Vitamix, or a Blendtec). If you have a normal blender, click over to Provident Homemaker and she can give you the amounts for that.
Remember, my recipe is for bread without any wheat flour – only wheat kernels and random filler flours. However you make it, you’ll be eating bread soon!
Soaked Wheat Kernel Bread Recipe
Soaked Wheat Kernel Blender Bread Recipe
- Blender, recommended high power like Vitamix - can use a regular blender
- Bread pans, recommended cast iron - can use any
Wheat Kernel Soak
- 3 Cups Wheat Kernels
- 2 - 2 1/2 Cups Water
Wheat Kernel Bread Dough
- 1 - 1 1/2 Cups Flour of any kind* or rolled oats
- 1 Tbsp Sea salt
- 2 Tbsp Fat - butter, coconut oil, olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Sweet - honey, maple syrup, molasses
- 2 tsp Yeast mixed with 1/4 Cup warm water - OR 1 Cup Sourdough Starter**
Set Up the Wheat Kernel Soak
- Place one cup of water in the bottom of the blender body. Then, add the wheat kernels and add another cup of water.
- Blend this mixture on high for several minutes. If your blender seems to be laboring hard, add more water a few tablespoons at a time.
- **If using sourdough starter, mix it in now. From now on, you can treat the dough as you would any naturally leavened bread dough.
- Place the kernel mash in a non-reactive bowl and cover to let sit in a warm place for at least six hours; better to let it sit overnight.
Set Up the Wheat Kernel Dough
- Add to the kernel mash the remaining ingredients (except the yeast, if you're using sourdough).
- *Any flour can work to soak up the liquid in your soaker and create a bread dough. If you have rice, bean or almond flour on hand, feel free to use it. Do NOT use coconut flour. I've used several different fillers before but rolled and ground oats are my favorite. You can use your high powered blender to grind up rolled oats, rice or almonds to add to the dough.
- Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. If you're using a mixer, the dough should clear the sides of the bowl. Without wheat flour, the texture will be different from bread dough you might be used to, but it will bake up hearty, never fear.
- Wet your hands and knead half the dough into a loaf shape and place into a greased loaf pan. Do the same with the other half of the dough and place into the other greased bread pan. Cast iron bread pans are a bit smaller and taller than standard pans and will work best for this. However, you can use regular pans, too.
- Allow the dough to rise in a warm place (an oven with the light on) until it's about double. If you're using commercial yeast, this should take 45-60 minutes. If you're using sourdough starter, this will take about double that time.
- Bake in a preheated oven set to 400F/204C and bake for 25 minutes, or until a thermometer reaches at least 205F/96C. The crust will be browned but without a thermometer, it's really hard to judge the doneness of a dense, wheat dough.
- Remove from pans and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before you cut into it.
Easy Bread Resources
Here are several links that I hope will help you with recipe ideas and tutorials.