What bread is not made with dairy?

Many types of bread are made without dairy ingredients like milk, butter, yogurt, cheese, etc. Breads that don’t contain dairy include varieties made with water, oils, eggs, and leavening agents like yeast, baking soda, or baking powder. Some examples of non-dairy breads include:

  • Baguettes
  • Ciabatta
  • Focaccia
  • Pita
  • Naan
  • Tortillas
  • Chapatis
  • Potato bread
  • Sourdough
  • Rye
  • Pumpernickel
  • Challah (water challah)
  • Brioche (made with eggs instead of butter)
  • Banana bread
  • Zucchini bread
  • Cornbread
  • Irish soda bread

These breads rely on ingredients like water, oil, eggs, and leaveners for texture and rise rather than butter, milk or other dairy products. Many traditional bread recipes can be made dairy-free by simply substituting oil or other non-dairy liquids for any milk or butter in the recipe.

Why Make Non-Dairy Breads?

There are several reasons one may choose to make or buy breads without dairy:

  • Dairy allergies or intolerances – Some people are allergic to milk proteins or lactose intolerant and need to avoid dairy products, including in breads.
  • Vegan diet – Vegans do not consume any animal products, including dairy, so they need breads made without milk, butter, cheese, etc.
  • Kosher rules – Some kosher dietary guidelines prohibit mixing meat and dairy in one meal. Non-dairy breads allow versatility in menu planning.
  • Preference for taste/texture – Some people simply prefer the taste and texture of breads made without dairy products.
  • Cost – Non-dairy breads may be cheaper to make at home since milk, butter and cheese can be costly.

No matter the reason, many delicious breads can be crafted without the use of any dairy ingredients whatsoever.

Tips for Making Non-Dairy Breads

If you want to avoid dairy in homemade bread, here are some useful tips:

  • Use non-dairy liquids – Substitute water, non-dairy milk like soy or almond milk, juice or oil for any milk called for in a bread recipe.
  • Omit butter – Leave out butter or replace it with oil when making loaves.
  • Avoid breads with cheese/yogurt toppings – Skip any recipes calling for cheese or yogurt to be kneaded into dough or topped on bread.
  • Read ingredients carefully – Many pre-made bread mixes or frozen doughs contain milk, whey or other dairy derivatives, so check labels thoroughly.
  • Adjust consistency if needed – Non-dairy liquids may produce a thicker or drier dough, so you may need to tweak moisture levels.
  • Let dough rise sufficiently – Dairy aids gluten development for fluffy bread; non-dairy dough may require a long slow rise to reach its full potential.
  • Enhance flavor – Boost flavor with oil, herbs, spices, sweeteners or other ingredients since you won’t have the added taste from dairy.

With a few simple substitutions and adjustments, baking tasty non-dairy breads at home is easy.

Non-Dairy Ingredients for Bread Baking

Here are some common non-dairy ingredients to use when making bread:


  • Water – The simplest liquid for bread. Use cool or lukewarm water.
  • Non-dairy milk – Soy, almond, oat or coconut milk add moisture and flavor.
  • Juices – Fruit or vegetable juices like apple cider lend sweetness.
  • Oils – Olive, vegetable, coconut or other oils provide richness.
  • Nutritional yeast – Adds B vitamins and cheesy umami flavor.


  • Eggs – Provide structure, protein, fat and richness.
  • Chia or flax eggs – Mixed seeds mimic the binding qualities of eggs.
  • Bananas – Mash ripe bananas to bind and moisten non-dairy dough.
  • Applesauce – Replaces fat from butter or oil while adding moisture.


  • Baking powder – Provides lift through a chemical reaction when wet.
  • Baking soda – Creates air bubbles and rise when activated by an acid.
  • Active dry yeast – Ferments sugars to produce carbon dioxide for lift.
  • Sourdough starter – Natural yeasts and bacteria produce rise over time.

Flavor Boosters

  • Sweeteners – Sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc. enrich flavor and aid browning.
  • Herbs and spices – Rosemary, thyme, cinnamon, garlic, etc. add layers of taste.
  • Salt – Essential for enhancing overall flavor.
  • Vanilla or almond extract – Impart sweet aromatic notes.
  • Zest – Orange, lemon or lime zest provide bright citrus tones.

With the right combination of non-dairy ingredients, you can make moist and delicious dairy-free bread that’s just as tasty as bread made with milk and butter. Get creative with your favorites!

Delicious Non-Dairy Bread Recipes to Try

Here are some tasty recipes for making bread without any dairy products:

Basic Non-Dairy Loaf Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar or honey, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast and warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes until frothy. Mix in the oil and flax egg. Knead dough until smooth then place in greased bowl, cover and let rise 1-2 hours. Punch down dough, shape into loaf and place in greased pan. Allow to rise 30-60 minutes until doubled in size. Bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire rack before slicing.

Focaccia Bread

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 1⁄4 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 1⁄2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil, divided
  • Flaky sea salt, rosemary and oregano for topping

In a large bowl, combine yeast, warm water and honey. Let activate for 5 minutes. Mix in 3 cups flour, salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Knead until smooth elastic dough forms, adding more flour as needed. Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour. Punch down dough and shape into a rough rectangle on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Use your fingers to dimple the surface and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with herbs and sea salt. Let rise 30 minutes then bake at 450°F for 15-20 minutes until golden.

Non-Dairy Challah

  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1⁄4 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1⁄2 cups flour
  • 1⁄4 cup oil for brushing
  • Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, yeast and warm water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes until frothy. Whisk in the oil, vinegar, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Mix well. Add remaining flour 1⁄2 cup at a time until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour. Punch down, divide into three pieces and braid. Place braided loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover and rise another 30 minutes. Brush top with oil and sprinkle with seeds if desired. Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes until deep golden brown. Cool on wire rack before slicing.

Dairy-Free Sandwich Bread

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup warm non-dairy milk
  • 3 cups bread flour

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and sugar. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the salt, oil and non-dairy milk. Stir in the yeast mixture. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour. Punch down dough, shape into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Allow to rise 30 minutes. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove bread from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Buying Non-Dairy Breads

If you want to skip baking your own, more and more options for buying dairy-free bread are appearing on grocery store shelves. Here are some tips for shopping for store-bought non-dairy bread:

  • Check the label – Read the ingredients list and allergen statement for milk, whey, casein or other dairy derivatives.
  • Look for vegan brands – Breads labeled as “vegan” will not contain any animal products including dairy.
  • Try the freezer section – Frozen breads like naan often lack dairy.
  • Visit bakeries – Many artisan bakeries offer dairy-free bread varieties.
  • Shop specialty stores – Health food markets and stores for dietary needs carry non-dairy breads.
  • Buy online – Several companies sell dairy-free bread online if you can’t find options locally.

Popular non-dairy bread brands to look for include Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Dave’s Killer Bread, Franz Bakery, and Canyon Bakehouse. With more choices available, eating dairy-free bread is easier than ever.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about non-dairy breads:

What gives non-dairy bread a good texture and rise?

Binding ingredients like flax eggs and bananas can help mimic the fat and moisture of dairy. Allowing for long rise times gives yeast or sourdough starters time to produce lift and air pockets. Steady heat while baking sets the structure.

Which milk substitutes work best in bread recipes?

Soy, almond and oat milks provide richness without overpowering bread flavor. Coconut milk can impart a subtle sweetness. For lighter flavor, try using water or vegetable broth instead.

Is homemade non-dairy bread healthier than store-bought?

Often yes, since you can control the quality of ingredients used. Homemade breads avoid preservatives, stabilizers and other additives standard in commercial loaves. Be sure to use whole grain flours for maximum nutrition.

How can you improve the nutrition of non-dairy bread?

Add nuts, seeds or whole grains like oats for extra protein and fiber. Substitute part of the white flour with whole wheat or rye flour. Sweeten with fruit or molasses instead of refined sugar.

Do non-dairy breads store well?

It depends on the individual bread. Leaner, denser loaves like rye or sourdough store better than richer, sweeter breads. Most non-dairy loaves stay fresh 3-5 days at room temperature when properly stored. Slice what you’ll use right away and freeze the remainder.


From simple sandwich slices to artisan specialty loaves, delicious breads can certainly be crafted without dairy. With some versatile ingredients and proper techniques, non-dairy breads turn out tasty in both homemade and store-bought versions. Whether avoiding dairy for health reasons or by choice, rest assured that going dairy-free doesn’t mean giving up your bread!

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