The smell of fresh-baked bread is enough to make your mouth water. Most breads are made using yeast, which allows the dough to rise. Unleavened breads, those without yeast, include biscuits, scones, soda breads and sourdough breads. These particular breads use other leavening agents such as baking powder to achieve a fluffy consistency similar to their yeast-infused counterparts. People suffering from yeast allergies, or needing to follow a yeast-free diet for religious reasons, can eat these alternatives.
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Scones are a flaky yeast-free quick bread using baking powder or baking soda as a rising agent. Scones can be made savoury with cheese and chives, or sweet with ingredients like berries and chocolate. Typically, scones are served with a hot beverage and make good snacks or breakfast foods. The amount of liquid added to the recipe will determine how flaky or dense the scone is.
Biscuits are a simple bread made using baking powder as a leavening agent. Europeans enjoy a flatter version of biscuits while North Americans are accustomed to a yeast-free, fluffy version, similar to a small dinner roll. Biscuits use a simple combination of flour, milk or buttermilk, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Savoury biscuits can be made by adding cheese, bacon, basil and oregano to the mixture. Or, add blueberries, currants or raisins to the batter. Most commonly, biscuits are served hot with jam, butter or gravy.
Artisan sourdough bread is a yeast-free bread using a starter to give it rise. A classic sourdough starter consists of flour and water. The starter will take approximately a week to cultivate and needs to be fed daily by adding flour and water. When the starter begins to bubble, it's ready. Sourdough breads tend to have a stronger flavour than classic yeast breads.
As the name suggests, soda bread uses baking soda as a rising agent. Traditional soda bread was developed in Ireland as a way to combine with soft flour or today's pastry/plain flour. Pastry flour does not combine well with yeast, whereas all-purpose flour that has a harder wheat consistency requires the use of yeast for breads to rise. Soda breads are typically baked in a dutch oven and are formed into a round loaf. Due to the nature of this quickbread, loaves do not keep for longer than a few days. Simply combine buttermilk, soft pastry flour, baking soda and salt to create a classic loaf of soda bread.
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