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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Skills Saturday: Baking Bread Without Yeast

Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts. 
-James Beard-

Is there anything in the world that smells better than bread baking?  It is certainly one of my most favorite scents in the whole world.  I love to have bread baking in the afternoon hours for it certainly makes my family eagerly anticipate supper and our time to gather together.  

For the next three Saturdays, we will look into this wonderful skill to learn.  Today we will focus on baking bread without yeast.  Next Saturday, we will learn about baking bread with yeast and sourdough.  And finally, on the 17th, I will teach you a method for making dough that you keep in the refrigerator and can pull out and bake anytime you want a fresh loaf of homemade bread.  

Why would you consider making bread without yeast?  Perhaps you are out of yeast and still want some bread with dinner.  Or perhaps, you didn't get the dough started in time to let the bread rise sufficiently and still want bread for dinner.  Whatever the reason, baking bread with baking powder is a quicker way to have a warm loaf of bread on the table in about hour and a half.  A hour of that is baking time.    

You will find, if you do an internet search, that there are many recipes that use baking powder or a combination of baking powder and baking soda - like Irish Soda Bread - but I do like this recipe I'm sharing today.  This is an old recipe from The Royal Baking Powder company (circa 1920) and I found it on  There are many public domain reprints of books available from them and I encourage you to follow the link and look around.  

The really wonderful thing about baking bread is that it is a ritual that is both therapeutic and life-giving.  Therapeutic in the planning, mixing, working of the dough and baking.  Life-giving in the sharing of nourishment and comfort with others.  

This bread recipe is not exactly like the grocery store bread or yeast breads you usually make.  It is more coarse but still delicious. We weren't looking for grocery store bread anyway, were we?   

Royal Baking Powder Bread
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
7 teaspoons baking powder (I know seems like a lot.  Also remember to shake your can of baking powder before spooning it out because the bicarbonate and acid can separate) 
1 medium boiled potato, chilled
small amount of milk 
small amount of melted butter

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a loaf pan. 
  • Sift together flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. 
  • Cube the cooked potato and cut the potato into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or fork until completely mixed. 
  • Add milk, a little at a time until able to mix smoothly into a batter.  
  • Put into greased loaf pan and brush top with melted butter. 
  • Let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes
  • Bake for about one hour. 
  • When done, turn out of pan and brush with melted butter.  Let cool a little bit before slicing.  :)  that is the hardest part  

Please make some bread this week - it is an act of love.  It doesn't have to be perfect, just warm and fresh from the oven.  You will be extraordinarily proud of this accomplishment!  I would love to hear about your favorite quick bread recipes - please share in the comments.  

Tomorrow is Sunday Cooking and I'll share a couple of my favorite recipes for cooking with those sprouts you've been growing.  I hope to see you then. 

Peace be with you,

Star Schipp  

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  1. I had not heard this technique before. Thanks for sharing. Question, you peel the potato before incorporating it into the recipe? Thanks again and can not wait to try this

    1. The recipe did not specify peeling the potato but I do peel it. Very good question.