Baking In Lockdown When You've Got No Yeast

Yeast! Where are you? Lots of people are emailing me about yeast, this week. It seems that yeast supplies are dwindling fast. I have a few ideas for baking without yeast, which I will share with you. And a (maybe?) helpful link for possible yeast purchasing, though who knows, with the vagaries of supply and demand.

*** Also see Where To Buy Yeast In Lockdown ***

For me, the problem is not yeast. I have a large bag of Fermipan Red on the go and one unopened, but I'm finding that it's pretty hard to bake bread without flour. Bread is impossible, in fact, without flour. I have planted some wheat in the back garden but so far it isn't doing much. I fear that decent, wholemeal bread is months away.

My family are clearly devastated to have their healthy eating regime interrupted. Only yesterday, my son was asking, through mouthfuls of soft white, smothered in honey, whether I had managed to procure any wholemeal flour. Alas, I replied that my local store only had plain white, to which he punched the air in what I assume was an 'aw shucks' sort of motion. Fluffy, light white bread it is, unfortunately, replacing tasty, robust wholemeal for the foreseeable. Needs must.

doughball with a face
Is my doughball looking at me strangely?!

So, let's assume that you've found some flour with which to bake. Last week it was expensive organic pasta flour, for me. I've also found myself incorporating small proportions of buckwheat flour and gram flour into my bread: enough to eke out the precious supplies of wheat flour but not so much as to cause consternation amongst the delicate tastebuds of my offspring. Stealth tactics. Now, what about yeast?

If you can't get yeast in your local supermarket and are looking online, I have found this Fermipan Red on Amazon. It's expensive, compared to what you might have paid in a supermarket, but in this scenario, supermarket is not an option. There is cheaper yeast online but the delivery times (I think from China) are very long. This one has an estimated delivery time of days rather than months. If you're desperate: "Gimme yeast! Any yeast at any price!" this might be worth going for.

*UPDATE* I've just had a lovely email from subscriber, David, at Norfolk Preserves and they have a good supply of dried yeast and flour. Look no further!***

Another option might be to bake without yeast.  More on that in a moment.

But first, what about this?! Here's someone taking focaccia to new levels of loveliness. Feeling inspired, I have made some artistic(ish) focaccia of my own:





Naturally, some people* did not appreciate the range of vegetables spoiling adorning their focaccia and Mr P pointed out that broccoli doesn't smell the greatest when you open the bread box on Day 2, but it was an interesting variation from the standard focaccia that I usually make with garlic, rosemary, sea-salt and/or oregano in various combinations.
*who shall remain nameless but I'll give you one guess.

Something else that pleased me greatly this week was discovering that a friend of mine has been building a new business without telling anyone and this is the result:

wooden comb

I love this peach-wood comb. Not only is it plastic free (yay!) but it's also really robust (have you seen how much hair I have?! I need a robust comb!) And, no, I wasn't sponsored (or even asked) to say this, I just want to give a shout out to a new business, starting up in these most difficult of times.

Mane Tamer Grooming is, in fact, about beard-care. Alas, having not managed to grow a decent beard yet, I cannot benefit from the full beard-grooming product range, but I can say that this lovely, eco-friendly little comb has been able to tame even my mane, and that takes some doing. I think I'll spare you the hairy selfie but please tell all your bearded friends about premium handmade beard products, I'd love to see my friend get his business off the ground.

Now, what was I saying about bread? Ah yes, no yeast. What can you do?

Well, there's soda bread - 'bread' made with baking soda as the raising agent, rather than yeast. I made some once and I found it rather dry. I'm not a fan and I haven't got a go-to recipe to offer you. Many people seem to love it, so have a try, by all means. I prefer another no-yeast option; flatbread.

There are many types of 'flatbread' and not all of them are unleavened. Unleavened (not risen, therefore no yeast) versions include tortilla, chapati and roti - tasty ways to have bread with a meal. Unleavened flatbreads tend to be made with only flour, water and some seasoning. They are generally cooked in a frying pan, often dry, without oil.

Here's my very simple flatbread recipe (used as tortillas to have with chilli) that I like to make as wraps for various savoury fillings. They can be frozen and rapidly defrosted in the toaster. They can also be used as bases for garlic bread or pizza (of sorts). Very versatile.

I did a little hunting around online and found a couple of other no-yeast flatbread recipes for your delectation:

Here's a really easy flatbread recipe at Jo's Kitchen Larder.

And this is a lovely looking recipe for chapati at Kitchen Sanctuary.

Both of those websites seem like friendly places to find nice recipes. I enjoyed having a browse around.

If you have got flour and yeast, have you baked your first loaf yet? And how is baking in lockdown working out for you?


  1. For those in the UK Morrisons are doing fresh yeast and flour from their in store bakery... I am also lead to believe ASDA are doing the same... Happy Baking

    1. Oh that's great Nelly! Thanks for the tip!

  2. thanks for the good advice.. and your foccacia is lovely!! keep doing your thing.


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