UPDATE: We’ve tested this with gluten-free flour, and with a very small change to the recipe, it works!  Scroll down to see the new info and photos.

pressure cooker bread
You can make bread in the pressure cooker with our new technique! It takes minutes not hours of energy to cook.

This recipe was especially designed for cooks with limited energy and space to dedicate to cooking like boaters, RVers and those who camp! This bread won’t replace common bread for the home cook but it’s a fun alternative to blasting the oven in the summer heat.

To figure out how to get decent bread out of the pressure cooker, we had to go back to the basics. The pressure cooker is a lean, mean, steaming machine so the focus went immediately to steamed breads.  But first, what container to use?

Suitable Containers for Pressure Cooking Bread

All steamed bread recipes call for a 1 pound coffee can. Few of us ever actually buy coffee this way or have access to these cans.  So it was time to come up with another solution.

As with all pressure cooker accessories, first shop in your own kitchen. Look for something heat-proof, food safe, tall, narrow and that doesn’t reduce near the top.

Possibilities include – small cookie tins, stainless steel storage canisters (remove attached lids), ceramic cooking utensil holder, cylindrical heat-proof measuring cups and even wide-mouth canning jars where the opening is as wide as the body. Make sure that the opening does not taper – you want to be able to get the bread out, right?!?

Don’t overlook square or rectangular containers in your kitchen (or galley). The possibilities are endless.   Even if your container comes with a heat-safe lid always cover it with foil, instead.

Never pressure cook an air-tight container, as the contents could remain under pressure even after the pressure from the cooker is released , there is no safe way to release this pressure other than waiting for the container and its contents to cool completely overnight.

Here are the “found” containers from our kitchen that we used in this recipe and experiments.

Containers for pressure cooking bread: Decorative ceramic “can”, stainless steel tea canister, 400g aluminum powdered milk can (inner-lip removed with can opener), heat-proof glass measuring cup (only fits 1/2 the recipe).

Using a casserole or pudding mold will not achieve the same results because the container will need to be partially submerged during pressure cooking.

From Sweet to Savory

A steamed bread is generally a sweet mixture between cake and bread.  Think: Corn Bread, Zucchini Bread, and Boston Brown Bread. They are sweet and not savory breads.

Savory pressure cooker bread recipes previously published online use a yeast bread dough with very unsatisfactory results (compared to oven-baked bread).

To distance ourselves from sweet cake-like breads (made with baking powder and eggs) and not prolong the disappointment of  predecessors (leavened with yeast), we gave  quick-breads (leavened with baking soda) a shot.  In fact, the dough in this post closely follows the ingredient ratios for a White Irish Soda Bread.

Where’s the crunch?!?

Steamed breads are not crunchy – though the edges do brown a bit while pressure cooking. The texture of the resulting bread is similar to a grocery-store loaf for sandwiches. We recommend quickly sauteing a few slices in a frying pan or scorching them on a grill, as we did with this recipe, for a satisfying crunch.

Gluten-free it!

Per a reader request, we tested this recipe with an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix.  We followed the recipe exactly as written with the addition of more baking soda (3/4 teaspoon instead of 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda).  We let Gluten Free Girl’s experience guide us on that bit – understanding that perhaps gluten free flours may need more lift.  The consistency, cooking time and everything else was exactly the same.  Scroll to after the recipe to see photos of the gluten-free version made in an electric pressure cooker

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger  steamer basket, see article    15-20 min.    High(2)  Natural
4.5 from 17 reviews
REAL White Savory Bread - pressure cooker recipe
 
Author: 
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Up to half of the flour can be replaced with whole wheat - check the consistency as you may need a spoon or two extra of yogurt. Other great additions are ¼ cup sunflower seeds or two tablespoons of anise.
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups (250g) all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate baking soda (not baking powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cup (270g)whole milk plain yogurt (or sour milk, or milk with 1¼ tablespoons of vinegar)
  • water to cover
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Prepare the pressure cooker with rack, or steamer basket. Then, oil a long, tall and skinny heat-proof 4 cup capacity container with a teaspoon of olive oil.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl add flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir everything together with a fork and then add the yogurt. Stir lightly to incorporate, then lightly knead. The mixture should be a bit chunky and flaky - break up the biggest flakes and incorporate back into the mixture for about a minute.
  3. Gather the dough together and see if it will hold together into a ball - it will be a little bit sticky. If it won't stay into a ball, sprinkle a little water. Knead lightly for about a minute to amalgamate everything.
  4. Elongate the mixture and lower it in the oiled container, adding a little splash of oil to the top to keep it from sticking to the foil.
  5. If using a coffee can do not use the plastic lid during cooking. If using an air-tight stainless steel canister do not use the lid from the canister (see note, above).
  6. Cover with foil and , to ensure room for expansion, make a little pleat in the middle of the foil.Tie a string around the edge to keep the container tightly closed.
  7. Lower the container into the pressure cooker on the rack and fill the cooker with hot water from the tap to half the height of the container.
  8. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  9. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 20-25 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 15-20 minutes pressure cooking time. NOTE: Cooking times may vary depending on the width and materials of the container used (glass and ceramic will take longer than stainless steel or aluminum).
  10. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural release method - move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes). For electric pressure cookers, disengage the “keep warm” mode or unplug the cooker and open when the pressure indicator has gone down (20 to 30 minutes).
  11. Carefully remove the container, remove the foil and test the bread by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, un-mould the loaf and put on a cooling rack (or cool burner) to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  12. Slice and serve warm with fresh butter, lightly fry in a saute pan with your favorite infused oil or scorch on the grill before serving.
    Yields 1 small loaf that can be sliced into 8 slices or more.

Stovetop step-by-step:

Electric pressure cooker step-by-step (using all-purpose gluten free flour):

Have you tried this? Post your favorite variation, in the Comments, below!

 

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284 Comments

  1. I made this yesterday and it came out fine. I used all whole-wheat flour and left out the salt to make it higher fiber and lower sodium. Next time I’ll increase the baking soda a little as it was slightly heavy, but there definitely will be a next time! I made just 5/8 of the recipe this time as my container was a 20-oz can. Next time I’ll make 2 loaves of that size, as 2 cans will fit in the Instant Pot. Thank you for the easy recipe!

    1. Kate, you don’t need increase the baking soda for a lighter loaf. Whole wheat flour is more fibrous and denser than white flour. You should either decrease the amount of substituted flour or add more liquid. Here’s an article that discusses how to do that:
      https://www.wikihow.com/Substitute-Whole-Wheat-Flour-for-White-Flour

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Thank you, Laura — just the information I needed!

        1. Can nut mike be used? Almond etc .

          1. Yes, you can use a nut milk. : )

            Ciao,

            L

  2. Epic fail. Took 35 minutes, still wasn’t cooked, and the result was a salty soda bread the consistency of paste. Consider preheating the instapot and starting with boiling water.

    1. MSE, it sounds like maybe your baking soda didn’t activate? Did you make any modifications to the recipe? Have you tested to see if your soda is still active?

      Ciao,

      L

      1. I have tried this bread twice and both times it came out looking like a big biscuit. It did not rise either time. I even purchased new soda. My question is should it be cooked on steam or regular pressure? Would like to have good results with this bread.

  3. MY BREAD DID NOT BAKE ON THE BOTTOM PART AND NOT ALL ON THE TOP HALF. I USED GLUTEN FREE FLOUR AND ADDED MORE SODA. WHAT HAPPEN?

    1. I don’t know what happened. Can you share more information. What pressure cooker manufacturer or type do you have? What container did you use? Did you alter the recipe from what was recommended at all?

      Ciao,

      L

    2. I HAVE NOT GOT A REPLY ON MY QUESTION. I WOULD LIKE TO TRY BAKING THE BREAD AGAIN

      1. Dear Waunita, I answered your question with more questions (above). I can’t say what happened without knowing what you tried.

        Ciao,

        L

        1. I USED GLUTEN FREE FLOUR. THE TOP SEEMED TO ALMOST BAKE. BOTTOM NOT SO GOOD HALF BAKED AND GUMMY. I USED A STAINLESS STEEL INSERT 4.25 . I HAVE A INSTANT POT. COOKED FOR 25 MIN.
          WAUNITA

  4. I’m not clear on how high the water level should be in the Instant Pot. You say to half the height of the container. Does that mean the water should come up on the sides of the coffee can, or whatever container we are cooking the bread in? I don’t see a photo that shows this, but I’m on a small screen so it’s hard to tell. Thank you.

    1. Yes, it should come half-way up the sides of the container containing the bread dough.

      Ciao,

      L

  5. A steamed bread is generally a savoury bread. 90 percent of all steamed breads are made in Asia and 80 percent of those are filled with chicken or pork.

    1. Erik, thanks for sharing your experience in Asia. Since my experience is in Europe and America and the steamed breads made and cooked in those regions the are all sweet. Having spent 25 years in San Francisco California with a vibrant and authentic Chinatown I have seen and tasted the pillowy steamed bread offered there and even though they contained meats, beans or veggies I have to point out that the dough was quite sweet, too!

      I have been to Japan, but I didn’t find any steamed breads there – they were all about noodles, soups and – of course – sushi!! They were big on mochi which I’m not sure if they were steamed or not. Mochi is a sweet that served to me with green tea at Japanese Tea Houses.

      Do you think they were serving the sweet things to just the tourists and keeping the salty sticky buns and mochi in the back for the residents? Not being snarky. I really want to know.

      Ciao,

      L

  6. I have a farberware instant pot.
    What settings do I use to bake bread. There is no manual set button.

    1. I have an Instant Pot Ultra 60 and it has no manual setting. Lots of recipes for chicken require you use a manual setting. Is there a substitute setting for manual setting?

      1. You can use the “Pressure Cook” or the “Ultra” setting, instead of “Manual”.

        Ciao,

        L

      2. Some Instant Pots have a “Pressure Cook” button instead of a “Manual” button.

    2. I don’t think you can bake in your Farberware. If you want to steam bread using pressure, as is noted in this article, choose the Chicken setting and adjust the time according to the recipe.

      Ciao,

      L

    3. This is confusing. It can’t be Farberware and Instant Pot both. These are two different brands of pressure cooker. Some Instant Pots have a “Pressure Cook” button instead of a “Manual” button, that’s what you would use.

      1. Victoria, in the last year “Instant Pot” and “Insta Pot” have become synonymous with electric pressure cookers. It’s like kleenex or xerox – brand names which are used to call that category of product.

        Ciao,

        L

        1. well, I am well aware people are doing this. but if you are going to ask very specific questions about specific buttons on your device you probably need to specify WHICH device you actually have. It’s like asking which button you push on an device – sound system, microwave, etc. they are not all made the same!

          1. Since this website and its recipes is designed to work for all pressure cooker types and kinds – it’s OK if someone does not have an Instant Pot or isn’t crystal clear on the kind of pressure cooker they have.

            I was able to understand from Ethel’s comment that she had a Farberware and tell her the specific buttons to push. If I needed more information, I would have asked! Thanks for your concern. ; )

            Ciao,

            L

  7. If im using milk+vinegar instead of yogurt, how much milk should I use? I assume a lot less since it’s more liquid than yogurt would be.

    Thanks

  8. I have made this twice now, gluten free, i use Better Batter gf flour, we love this, it came out perfectly both times. Am making it again today, for eggs & bacon sandwiches! H

  9. I was out of bread this morning and did not want to drive to the store. I followed your recipe completely with the exception that I needed to add more flour to form a ball. Following your electric instant pot instructions, I was able to make fabulous home Made bread! Husband loved it and so did I. Moist, nice crust on top. I used a 6”x 4” high cake pan it worked perfectly! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  10. 2nd photo perfect!

  11. Laura do you think an Illy can would work to make the bread in? Also, can I use fat free yogurt imstead of whole yogurt. I am on WW and fat free yogurt has no points. Thanks.

    1. Suzanne, if it is food-safe. Go for it! If I remember correctly, those cans are rather thin, tho, but you’ll get the cutest round bread loaf- ever!!

      Ciao,

      L

    2. I use fat-free yogurt I make myself from skim milk, it works fine!

  12. I am a veteran bread baker, and wanted to try this in the Instant Pot. I have the 3 qt mini, but couldn’t find a cylindrical container that might work. Instad I used the smallest mixing bowl from a 3-piece Revereware set, and halved the recipe. Well, I ended up with the cutest little ball of bread you ever saw! I wasn’t even very careful about how I mixed it — just mixed the dry ingredients, then added enough yoghurt to make it a biscuit consistency using a fork. Didn’t measure the yoghurt, and didn’t bother to knead a bit. Heated the water with the sauté function before lowering the bread into the steam rack of IP, then cooked as directed using “pressure cook”. I wasn’t really sure if I should use “steam” function or “pressure cook” function, but it all turned out great. Let the experimenting begin!

  13. Can this be made with parchment paper in place of the coffee can/container? If so would any other modifications need to be made?

    1. Did you mean, could use parchment/ baking paper to cover the top of a can instead of foil?

  14. I have found 3/4 cup milk -vinegar is the right amount. Otherwise, the dough is sticky and won’t hold the shape. It comes too wet. I, also. have added time for 5,000 feet of 15%. This is in a Wolfgang Puck pressure cooker manual with timer, I think 4 qt.

    This is fifth time trying once with a Fissler 6 qt, Cooks Essentials Electric 6 qt. When I tried water halfway up in the first two, the can and even jars floated. I was not too pleased with results of bread.

    This time it is better and it couldn’t float because it was right under the lid.

  15. I’ve been experimenting with this bread and finally have made what I consider the perfect loaf (for me). It’s a riff on the basic recipe and method. I mis-read the instructions the first time around, and incorporated the olive oil into the dough, but after discovering that, I still added the olive oil into the dough. My baking experience over 50 years (!) has proved that ½ tsp. soda per cup of flour is about right, assuming that no other leavening is used. For this method I greased a round 6 ¼ x 2 ¼ stainless pan, the larger unit from an ecovana set of stackable insert pans, using cocoanut oil. I have an Instant Pot Duo mini (3 qt). It took 3 ½ cups of water to bring it to the right level above the rack in the inner pot. I let the water heat on the sauté function while mixing the bread.

    So, here is the final recipe that worked so well for me:

    2 cups flour (I used ½ white and ½ whole wheat)
    1 tsp. soda
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. olive oil
    yoghurt, as needed

    Mix dry ingredients together, then work in the olive oil with a fork. Add yoghurt, mixing after each addition, until the consistency is like that for a drop biscuit, just a little sticky. Put into pan, lower into hot water, cover loosely with foil, close lid, and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, full natural release. Cool on rack, after removing bread from pan.

    1. Constance, thanks for sharing your version!

      Ciao,

      L

  16. I tried this but with gluten free multi pourpose flour and used milk with vinegar and I ended up with a batter. So I tried slowly adding more flour but I couldn’t ever get a dough consistency. Pretty bummed because gluten free anything is expensive and I just wasted a ton of flour.

    1. Miranda, try cooking it, anyway! Although it’s true that the consistency before cooking should play-dough like some mixes might have thickeners (such as corn starch that are only activated while cooking). The worst thing you’ll get is a “pancake.” I’m sorry to read that this didn’t turn out for you.

      Ciao,

      L

  17. I have UP Ultra. It has Bake as one of the functions and no recipe of instructions for bread. Please advise.

    1. Jacqueline, as far as I know, there is no “Bake” setting on the ULTRA. Do you mean “Cake”? Either way, it’s just a streaming program. It does not actually bake anything.

      Here’s an image of the ULTRA control panel straight from Instant Pot’s website..

      instant pot ultra control panel

      Ciao,

      L

  18. I’m looking forward to trying this!! I’ll try it in a cake pan as others have, but do you think it would turn out if I tried distributing among several small cans (like soup or broth…labels removed of course)?

    1. Yes, I think a reader has already done it – she said they were like “biscuits”!

      Ciao,

      L

  19. This looks yummy. Would a cylindrical ‘canister’ work if it is made from galvanized steel? There was no warning labels about being ‘not food safe’ on it…

    1. Wendy, my understanding is that galvanized steel is not safe for acidic foods. This recipe contains yogurt, which is acidic. I would not use it.

      Here is where I got my information:
      https://galvanizeit.org/knowledgebase/article/is-it-safe-for-food-to-be-in-contact-with-galvanized-steel

      Ciao,

      L

  20. I have a daughter allergic to yeasts. She used to love bread and we haven’t found any that could be used as a sandwich substitute that satisfied her. Her daughter is sensitive to wheat. Today I made 1/2 recipe in a one pint wide mouth canning jar. Cooked it for 18 minutes and it turned out great and delicious. I think she’ll like it but I want to find a larger mold as this would make tiny sandwiches lol. Next I am going to try it gluten free for my granddaughter. She’s been eating Udi’s bread but isn’t really happy with it using way more filling in a sandwich to cover up the heavyness of the bread. Crossing my fingers but at least with the regular version, my daughter will get to have some bread again! Thank you. Thank you!

    1. Timaree, definitely look into recipes “quickbreads” – these are bread made with baking powder and not yeast. This is one example, but there are also cornbreads and lots of other fun things for you to try (even without pressure ; )

      My daughter loves the gluten-free version… but now she’s also intolerant to milk. Hmph!! : /

      Ciao,

      L

  21. Hi Laura! I was wondering what kind of gluten free flour you did use. I generally make my own AP GF mixture instead of buying them as it’s less expensive. I’m excited to try this but would rather know what your GF flour ratios were or at least what was in it. Thanks! I’m excited to try. I don’t have a IP name brand one. I have the pressure cooker XL that has nothing but ore program functions and no manual button.

    1. I’ve made this both with the flour-replacement by Schar and a “pizza making” flour replacement from a local Italian brand. I live in Europe, I don’t know if this brand is available in the U.S.

      Ciao,

      L

  22. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’ve just tried it for the first time without much success. Milk can’t be substituted for yoghurt at the same amount, so that was my first problem. I had to add a lot of extra flour and I probably could have added more, but would also have needed more bkg soda I guess. I set it for 20 minutes on high pressure (Instant Pot) because I had a wider rather than taller container. The Natural Release took over 40 minutes. The bread did not rise at all and doesn’t seem fully cooked. Toasted it might be ok. It’s like a flat, somewhat gummy biscuit. I will probably try this again with yoghurt, but I’d recommend that you add a note in the recipe explaining that if using milk, use significantly less than the yoghurt amount.

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