Potato Soda Bread – The quickest yeast-free bread recipe

Potato Soda Bread – The quickest yeast-free bread recipe

Soda bread is the quickest and easiest bread that can be made within an hour. No yeast, no proofing, no kneading! Add some potatoes, cheese, seeds and herbs of choice and you’ve got a deliciously moist and rustic loaf for breakfast,lunch toast, or dinner side. This potato soda bread will knock your sock off!

In these past weeks, Covid-19 lockdowns, quarantine, and shelter-in-place have turned a lot of us into enthusiastic home chefs, avid bakers, and accidental nannies/teachers. Showcases of sourdough breads, homemade pizzas, fancy cakes and pastries, or pantry meals are everywhere on social channels.

But what if you cannot find a single sachet of yeast on store shelves due to panic food hoarding? I’ve been on fruitless search in the last 2 weeks and have been relying on other leavening agents such as baking soda and baking powder. So as long as you still have some flour, seeds & nuts, herbs (fresh or dry), or something fancier such as shredded cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, you can make and enjoy delicious fresh bread all week long.

Herby Cheese Potato Soda Bread Loaf
Steamingly hot out of the oven!

What is soda bread:

As its name suggest, soda bread is bread made with baking soda as the leavening agent, instead of traditional yeast. When combined with buttermilk or any milk with lemon juice, soda bicarbonate will react with acid agent to give the bread a nice rise when baked in the oven.
Soda bread is often coarse and crumbly in texture, made with a mixture of flour and whole meal (rye, spelt, oat, multigrain, etc.). What gives it the moist is usually oil or butter, or sometimes egg too.

Freshly Baked Potato Soda Bread
Soda Bread – Seeds and Herbs

Why potato soda bread:

Potatoes are a global staple food, cooked and served in various ways: mashed, boiled. baked, roasted, or fried. But not many of us know that these spuds can do as much wonders for our baking as for our nutrition. Potatoes are the secret to light and airy texture of breads, with or without yeast, from bread loaf, dinner rolls, to sweet buns, and muffins.

Starches in potatoes can hold more water than wheat starches, helping baked goods to be softer and moister, and keeping them fresh for longer. These starches also slow down the gluten forming of proteins in flour, resulting in that delicate crumb in our breads. And when used in yeasted dough, high potassium contents in potatoes also help yeast rise faster.

With common downfall of traditional soda bread being its dry and coarse texture, next to a fast hardening after just 1-2 days, adding potato to it will clear these off the list and give us a soft, moist, and fresh loaf for up to a week in fridge.

With common downfall of traditional soda bread being its dry and coarse texture, next to a fast hardening after just 1-2 days, adding potato to it will clear these off the list and give us a soft, moist, and fresh loaf for up to a week in fridge.

Seeds and herbs Potato Soda Bread in slices
Moist and soft soda bread

Basic ingredients for potato soda bread

  • Potato: best floury sort, half boiled, half grated
  • Flour: white, wholemeal or a mixture of both depending what you have on hands
  • Fat: olive oil is my go-to, but (vegan) butter, margarine works perfectly too
  • Liquid: buttermilk or non-dairy milk + ½ lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • Leavening: baking soda
  • Salt
  • Some sweetness: honey, molasses, or sugar

How to spice it up?

Soda bread is extremely versatile when it comes add-ons and flavouring. Some of my favourite savoury combo’s are:

  • Seeds and herbs: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, rosemary
  • Cheese and chive
  • Cheddar and herbs
  • Garlic and Parmesan
  • Mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes

Next to savoury versions, there are also sweet variety, well known in the U.K. as “spotted dick” (Hey you, don’t even go there with your imagination!). However, they deserve their own spotlight and will be shared in a separate post.

Take out your spuds, flour, baking soda, and get baking now to enjoy in the next hour or for tomorrow’s breakfast!

Potato Soda Bread
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
The quickest and easiest no-yeast, no-knead bread within the hour. Crusty and rustic on the outside, moist and fluffy on the inside, potato soda bread is a new staple during these #StayAtHome and #Quarantine period.
Author: H.P.
Dry ingredients
  • 225 gr 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 25-40 gr 1/4-1/3 cup rolled oats for topping
  • 250 gr potatoes grated
  • 1 ½ tsp ~10-12gr baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
Wet ingredients
  • 200 gr potatoes steamed & mashed
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 12 ml-15ml ~1tbsp olive oil
  • 10 ml sweetener such as honey or molasse
  • 60 ml buttermilk OR non-dairy milk with juice of ½ lemon
Add-on option 1 – Cheese and herbs
  • 1 : ½ cup ~60gr shredded cheese
  • tbsp chopped rosemary or thyme OR 2 tbsp chives for cheese & chive version
Add-on option 2 – Seeds and herbs
  • 50 gr seeds of choice e.g. 25gr pumpkin seeds + 25gram sunflower seeds; half mix in, half reserve for topping
  • 1 tbsp chopped herbs such as thyme rosemary, basil, sage
Add-on option 3 – Mozzarella and sundried tomatoes
  • ½ cup ~60gr shredded mozzarella
  • 20 gr sundried tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  1. Peel and cut 200gr potatoes into chunks. Steam for approx. 20 minutes

  2. Peel and grate the other 250gr, soak in water to remove starch and avoid browning. Set aside
  3. Mash potatoes finely while hot. If you boil instead of steaming, potatoes will absorb more liquid and therefore will call for somewhat more flour
  4. Preheat oven to 190C
  5. In a large bowl, mix all wet ingredients into mashed potato, mix with a spatula until incorporated
  6. Add dry ingredients (except oat topping) into wet mixture. Fold in a few times
  7. Add add-on of choice
  8. On a baking mat, sprinkle ½ amount of rolled oats
  9. Pour the mixture out and fold a few times with a dough cutter or by hand
  10. Form a loose round shape of approx. 20-22cm diameter
  11. Top with the remaining oat flakes and seeds (if used)
  12. Bake for 35mins. Reduce oven to 180C and continue for another 10 minutes.

  13. Take out and let cool on a rack
Recipe Notes

These  breads are best served warm. You can always reheat in oven/air-fryer at 180C for 3mins

Store whole or in individual portions in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 wedge
Servings Per Container 12

Amount Per Serving
Calories 128 Calories from Fat 20.7
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0.8g 4%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 131.5mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 20.5g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2.7g 11%
Sugars 0.4g
Protein 4.8g 10%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.