The 41 Best Bread Recipes That Don’t Require a Sourdough Starter

Sourdough bread is undeniably delicious, but we don’t always have the time (or patience) to deal with all that feeding and discarding. We need carbs and we need them now. Luckily, there are oodles of loaves, buns and rolls that don’t require so much tending (and some don’t even require yeast). Behold, the 41 best bread recipes you can whip up at home, none of which require a sourdough starter to make.

6 Yeast Substitutes to Use When You’re in a Pinch

1. Easy Pretzel Buns

They’re like the fancy sandwich rolls you find at restaurants, except—dare we say?—better. This calls for a chicken parm sandwich.

2. Cheater’s Brioche Buns With Fruity Glaze

This version of brioche has much less butter, so you don’t have to make it ahead or chill it for hours. But surprisingly, it tastes just as buttery and fluffy as the real thing.

3. Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread With Tomatoes And Scallions

Who said bread had to involve yeast? This is like a traditional cornbread but fancied up a bit, so it’s just as at home at a backyard barbecue as it is at an alfresco dinner party.

4. Charcoal Banana Bread

Don’t toss your brown bananas; turn them into this sweet loaf. The charcoal makes for a striking effect, but it’s totally optional and just for looks.

5. Mozzarella-stuffed Pizza Bread

Psst: This deceptively simple spiral starts with store-bought pizza bread. Just don’t tell anyone and they won’t know.

6. Chocolate Banana Bread Babka

We bet your local bakery doesn’t serve this. If you have any leftovers, which is unlikely, they make for pretty damn delicious French toast.

7. Sugared Holiday Bread

It’s not a holiday and we don’t care: We’re still whipping up this sweet yeasted bread, which requires zero kneading and tastes like a buttery cake.

8. Upside-down Banana-caramel Bread

Make this one for dessert (and then sneak a slice or two for breakfast).

9. Pumpkin Brioche

As if traditional brioche needed an improvement, here’s a version with pureed pumpkin in the dough for a festive hue and autumnal flavor.

10. Scallion And Chive Flatbread

This easy recipe is a lot like making pizza dough or focaccia, and it only needs an hour to rise. To kick it up a notch, you can add edible flowers and arrange your own allium bouquet.

11. Apple Focaccia With Blue Cheese And Herbs

It’s sweet, savory and ready for a cocktail party. If you want to add a hearty twist, top it with prosciutto and call it a charcuterie loaf.

12. Skillet Blueberry Cornbread

It’s not like other cornbreads, it’s a breakfast cornbread. (Think blueberry muffin meets coffee cake meets cornbread meets delicious).

13. Easy Zucchini Bread

When your cup, er, crisper drawer runneth over with zucchini, make them into a quick bread. Bonus: This recipe comes together in one bowl.

14. Double-chocolate Bread

Another one-bowl bread, but this time make it extra chocolatey. What can we say? We hate doing dishes.

15. Sweet And Spicy Cornbread

Do you prefer sweet or savory…or both? This beauty checks both boxes. If you can’t find fresno chiles, you can swap in jalapeños for a similar effect.

16. ‘everything Bagel’ Cauliflower Rolls

OK, calling these guys bread might be a stretch—they’re made with cauliflower. But if you’re watching your carb intake, we’re sure you won’t mind.

17. Honey Challah

We used to beeline straight for the bakery when we wanted challah. Then we discovered how easy it is to make at home. (Can’t quite nail the signature braid? That’s what YouTube is for.)

18. English Muffins

The hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise. Bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, anyone?

19. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

Our motto? If you want to improve on something that’s already delicious, just add cream cheese.

20. Pull-apart Bread With Caramelized Onions And Goat Cheese

Think of this as monkey bread with an elegant twist. Each bite has a bit of creamy, oniony filling—serve it warm.

21. Mini Citrus Monkey Bread

With a sweet glaze and plenty of citrus zest, no one will suspect that you started with store-bought pizza dough.

22. The Best Frybread Ever

Frybread is crisp, golden and ideal for dipping into guac or queso. For a sweet take, you could even toss it in cinnamon sugar (yum).

23. Savory Monkey Bread

Meet the other monkey bread, which starts with a crusty loaf and ends with plenty of cheese pulls.

24. Julia Turshen’s Skillet Cornbread With Cheddar And Scallions

According to cookbook author Julia Turshen, the key to a great skillet cornbread is to preheat the pan until it’s piping hot, otherwise you’ll miss out on that golden-brown crust.

25. Swedish Cinnamon Buns Topped With Salted Caramel

If you like American cinnamon rolls, you’ll love their Swedish cousins, which are drenched in salted caramel sauce and packed with cinnamon-sugar filling.

26. Slow-cooker Monkey Bread

This one is impossible to mess up, thanks to your trusty slow cooker. Get everything ready the night before, and in the morning, breakfast will await.

27. Chocolate Pinecone Rolls

They look fancy, but you’ll be surprised to find out that these rolls are pretty foolproof. Their pinecone appearance is thanks to a few snips with a pair of scissors. (That’s it!)

28. Earl Grey Buns

When the soothing smell of tea is wafting through your kitchen and the kettle isn’t even on, you know there’s something delicious coming out of the oven.

29. Pizza-dough Cinnamon Rolls

Somewhere between popping open a can of store-bought cinnamon rolls and making them entirely from scratch is this easy-peasy version. The pizza dough can be our little secret.

30. Easy Dinner Rolls

Is a meal really complete without a pan of warm rolls? We think not.

31. Pumpkin Spice Pecan Rolls

Getting out of bed is easy with the promise of these rolls. We’d say the creamy icing is optional...but we’d be lying.

32. Baked Gorgonzola Bites

All you need are five ingredients and 30 minutes for a transcendent cheesy appetizer.

33. Classic Sandwich Bread

This loaf isn’t labor intensive (although you’ll need a bit of time to let the dough rise), and the results will bring any sandwich to the next level. We recommend stashing a few loaves in the freezer. It’s that good.

34. Braided Apple Danish Loaf

The simple braiding technique will make you look like a pro, even though it’s easy enough to do with your eyes closed.

35. Miracle No-knead Bread

If you’ve ever said, I’m not a homemade bread person, you’ve never had the pleasure of tearing into a crusty loaf that also took almost no effort to make.

36. Irish Soda Bread

Who needs yeast when you can have soda bread? It’s soft, slightly sweet and just waiting for a thick layer of butter.

37. Cheesy Herb-stuffed Naan

This Indian flatbread is pretty hard to mess up, and we don’t mean because it’s stuffed with feta and mozzarella. You can even omit the yeast and it will still turn out fabulous.

38. New York Style Bagels

Don’t skip the important step of boiling the bagels; it’s crucial for that chewy crust. (Don’t skip the everything seasoning or cream cheese, either.)

39. Multigrain Nut And Seed Bread

Would you believe this loaf is vegan and gluten-free? It’s made from fiber-rich grains and seeds, and doesn’t even require leavening.

40. Bacon Potato Cheesy Sesame Bing Bread

What’s bing, you ask? It’s a yeasted Chinese staple, and it’s kind of like a cross between a pancake, a flatbread and a roti. (It’s also really tasty, but you probably already knew that.)

41. Homemade Garlic Knots

It’s pizza night, no delivery required. You’re going to want to make a double batch.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...