Your Questions About Making Sourdough Bread Without Yeast

Laura asks…

how to make bread without yeast?

how do u make bread without yeast? i dont have any yeast but i want to make bread what is something that will replace it? will it be bad if i dont use yeast at all?

sourdough answers:

It depends…a cake is simply a sweet bread that uses baking soda and baking powder for leavening. Tortillas and naan and crackers and other flatbreads are made with no leavening, hence “flat.”

Now, you can make sourdough “without yeast” — but all you are doing is incubating natural yeasts instead of adding commercial yeast, so that hardly counts, right?

Lisa asks…

What is the difference between fresh yeast and dry yeast?

Obviously one is fresh and one is dried but why do some recipes only allow fresh? Would it make a difference if i used dry? Would the quantities be any different? Thanks

sourdough answers:

Fresh yeast is usually available in the form of a yeast cake in the grocery store.

The dried yeast you can buy are available in ‘instant’ form or ‘active’ form. The only difference is the size and uniformity of the granules. Instant yeast is finer and the yeast cells awaken and metabolize much faster.

‘fresh’ yeast or yeast cakes are even faster still. Some recipes need these forms because the waste products given off by yeast will upset the chemical balance in the final product. A long ferment will bring in the sourdough quality that is so desirable in certain savory breads, but very bad for things like cinnamon buns.

Quantities arent usually an issue, because once you pour it in and incubate the yeast around 75 – 85 degrees, the quantity of yeast cells explodes.

If your recipe is calling for instant or cake yeast, i wouldn’t use the active or slower kinds. You’ll have a tangy flavor where you’re looking for sweet.

Likewise if you’re trying to make a savory, long rise loaf of sourdough, a two to three day ferment is best, and that is best achieved with no added sugar and active dry yeast.

The white sugar you add to the recipe is yeast food: the instant and cake kind exhaust it early and give up their CO2, allowing for a quick rise without altering the flavor.

Using flour only as yeast food allows your slow rise recipe to develop complex flavors and lactic acid sourness you simply cannot achieve with quick yeasts

Sandy asks…

Can you help me think of recipes to make WITHOUT these ingredients?

All sugars and sugar-contained food including fructose, corn syrup, honey, molasses, maple sugar etc.

All white flour and white flour products. All yeast-containing pastries, breads, crackers, pastas, etc.

All cheese except ricotta, cottage and cream cheese.

Artificially sweetened drinks and food products.

All fruit juices, fruits (except cranberry, lemon, and lime)

All coffee and tea (even herbal).

All meat and poultry (except seafood)

Obvious fungus foods: mushrooms, blue cheese, etc.

Peanuts and peanut products: peanut butters.

All vinegar & vinegar-soaked products

Potatoes, squash, and corn

white rice

***If you can think of ANYTHING, I will be very very grateful and happy!! If you win the challenge you get ten points!! :)***
Umm… wealthywhitebeauty? If I was poor, I wouldn’t have a computer and internet access. Ever consider that I was doing this for health reasons?

sourdough answers:

I have to eat pretty similar to this. I hope you have another list of what you ‘can’ eat, it’s much better to read! 🙂

Anyway here are some things I eat:

eggs over brown rice, or with French meadow brand brown rice bread (no yeast, natural sourdough, it’s good!!)

Smoothie with vanilla whey protein powder, strawberries, flax oil, one raw egg, a bit of cranberry juice (non-sweetened), stevia to sweeten if you need it, or a half of a banana

Shrimp or vegetable omelet

Chicken ‘noodle’ soup with veggies – but with brown rice macaroni.

A sandwich made from the french meadow bread. Use bay shrimp (the small ones), cream cheese, tomato, onion & lettuce. Grill the sandwich if you have time, the french meadow bread tastes better toasted.

I also make a really hearty vegetable soup with a tomato base. I put grass-fed beef in it (I can eat beef & chicken) but you could add shrimp. Email me if you want the recipe.

Easy quick lunch: can of tuna or salmon mixed with a healthy brand of mayo, over lettuce with tomato & cucumber

You have a load of options for dinner since you eat seafood. Here are some of my favorites:

Tilipia with pesto
Salmon with butter, dill, lemon & garlic, baked in oven

shrimp scampi – I saute one leek, garlic, butter, lemon and then throw in the shrimp, this is good over rice

Shrimp louie salad – add hard boiled eggs

Salmon marinated in a bit of soy sauce (naturally brewed), fresh ginger, garlic

A big omelet with sauteed veggies & some ricotta cheese. Or make an ‘italian’ omelet with tomato, basil & ricotta. Yum!

Grilled scallops with whole wheat pasta (or brown rice pasta) with a veggie

Shrimp curry – I have an easy recipe if you like curry & if you can eat coconut. Email me if you need it

I love the cracker brand ‘Mary’s Gone Crackers’, onion flavor. You can find it at a health food store like whole foods. They are gluten free. And 15 crackers are a serving so you really feel like you’re eating well. Have these with hummus or herbed cream cheese.

Dip apples or celery sticks into a cheese that you’re allowed.

Hard boiled eggs

cottage cheese with fruit

super quick snack: piece of the french meadow bread, toasted, with a schmear of cream cheese

I know how daunting it can be to start a new eating plan. Try planning out a few days menus ahead of time, you’ll feel better. And your body will thank you! Have fun with it.

You might try the ‘Fat Flush cookbook’ by Ann Louise Gittleman, please don’t be turned off by the name. It has a lot of recipes with the foods that you can eat.

Sandra asks…

Anyone know any good bread recipes without wheat?

I just got through cancer therapy and started seeing this nature path specialist. My cancer is not cured yet but she said that if I stop eating sugar, wheat and gluten that should somehow help cure me. I have not been able to find any store bought breads that meet these rules. So I have to make some kind of home made bread ( because i have been craving it lately.) I was wondering if anyone knows any good recipes that don’t have sugar, wheat or gluten.

sourdough answers:

I appreciate that your nature path specialist is trying to help, but truly? Please investigate more thoroughly what she’s told you before trying it? Even the best intentioned doctors can completely screw us over if they don’t know as much as they think they do. And cancer is just not something to let them mess up on.

I followed doctors’ order for many years before figuring out my own issues. But I’ve got permanent injury due to following others’ ideas without checking it out myself first, both from regular MD’s and the alternative medical doctors.

However, re: your question…
The best best for you would be to google flat bread recipes. These are typically pretty good because they are not substitutions that don’t taste as good but rather traditional breads that have NEVER had gluten or sugar, so they tend to be nicer.

Socca, for example, is a traditional french bread made with chickpea flour and no sweetener. There is an Indian and an Italian chickpea based flat bread, too, although I can’t recall the names.

Corn tortillas are another example – buy corn masa, add a little water and salt, and that’s it. They are much thicker and nicer than store bought ones and taste awesome. I tend to use these instead of lasagna noodles to make a mexican style lasagna.

Injera is a teff based Ethiopian bread – it’s really interesting, but takes a bit of work. You have to ferment the batter, and it ends up as this soft, flexible pancake that tastes a bit like sourdough. Good with savory foods, which you wrap it around and eat. You have to find ‘traditional’ recipes for this, though, because modern ones have started adding wheat.

Finding leavened breads will be a problem because gluten is what typically keeps it shape when leavened, and sugar is what helps the yeast grow, so as you can imagine, not too much great bread without both of these.

Wishing you the best of luck in your recovery.

Betty asks…

Comparing baking in the middle ages and baking today?

I have assignment to do..

So baking in the middle ages and baking today? I know the technology has definitely changed. What else?
details please?

sourdough answers:

Grains were stoneground, which left large amounts of grit in the flour; and wore the enamel from people’s teeth. One of the most lucrative exports from the medieval Rhineland was millstones made from fine-grained lava stones, which were harder than the indigenous sandstone used in northern and western Britain and left less residue in the flour.

Weed control in grainfields was largely a matter of manual labour, and a wet summer could leave a rye crop infected with a fungus called ergot, whose toxic and hallucinogenic effects were often fatal.

Yeasts would have been ‘wild’ varieties rather than today’s carefully-selected and laboratory-grown varieties; sourdough cultures would form the basis of most baking at the time.

Bread making was an extremely labour-intensive process, requiring manual kneading, repeated proving and finally baking in a wood-fired oven. Wild yeasts take longer to rise and the resultant bread is dense in consistency compared to modern commercial breads.

When grain ran low, the flour could be eked out with peas, acorns or other plant matter.

The bread would have had to have been kneaded and set to rise the night before consumption, then put into the oven first thing in the morning. This was mostly the duty of the woman of the house.

Having taken it upon myself to bake bread for an encampment of re-enactors, I can say that it’s one of the most time-consuming activities one could undertake without mechanical assistance; instructive, yes, but fun? Hmmm, well, perhaps, as long as you have lots of helpers! I can only admire our ancestors (particularly the female ones) for being able to keep their families fed.

Hope this helps!

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