Excellent Dairy-Bread Made without Yeast

Author’s Receipt


When we first heard unfermented bread vaguely spoken of, we had it tried very successfully in the following manner; and we have since been told that an almost similar method of preparing it is common in many remote parts both of England and Ireland, where it is almost impossible to procure a constant supply of yeast. Blend well together a teaspoonful of pounded sugar and fifty grains of the purest carbonate of soda; mix a saltspoonful of salt with a pound of flour, and rub the soda and sugar through a hair-sieve into it. Stir and mingle them well, and make them quickly into a firm but not hard dough with sour buttermilk. Bake the loaf well in a thoroughly heated, but not fierce oven. In a brick, or good iron oven a few minutes less than an hour would be sufficient to bake a loaf of similar weight. The buttermilk should be kept until it is quite acid, but it must never be in the slightest degree rancid, or otherwise bad All unfermented bread should be placed in the oven directly it is made, or it will be heavy. For a larger baking allow rather less than an ounce of soda to the gallon (seven pounds) of flour.

Obs.—There are cases in which a knowledge of this, or of any other equally easy mode of bread-making would be invaluable. For example:—We learn from the wife of an officer who has for a long time been stationed off the Isle of Skye, in which his family have their abode, that the inhabitants depend entirely for bread on supplies brought to them from Glasgow; and that they are often entirely without, when the steamer which ought to arrive at intervals of eight days, is delayed by stress of weather. The residents are then compelled to have recourse to scones—as a mixture of flour and water and a little soda (cooked on a flat iron plate), are called—or to ship’s biscuit; and these are often found unsuitable for young children and invalids. There are no ovens in the houses, though there are grates for coal fires, in front of which small loaves of unfermented bread could be baked extremely well in good American ovens. Buttermilk can always be procured; and if not, a provision of carbonate of soda and muriatic acid might be kept at hand to ensure the means of making wholesome bread. In many other localities the same plan might prove of equal benefit.