Food & Drink

Best Substitutes for Yeast


Many baked goods include pizza dough, bread loaves, cinnamon rolls, donuts and dinner rolls. It is an essential ingredient that allows the dough to rise and perfect texture. There is nothing worse than feeling motivated to make bread from scratch but then realizing you don’t have yeast! Even worse, finding out that the grocery store is sold out! There are many great substitutes for the yeast you can use if you are in a pinch. The best thing? These substitutes are likely already in your possession!

What is Yeast and How Does It Work?

It is important to understand what yeast is before getting into the best yeast substitutes. It is important to remember that yeast is a living organism. Active dry yeast, a single-celled fungus, reacts with water to form a dense dough that becomes a delicious loaf of bread. This process is also called fermentation.

Yeast is a yeast that uses sugar to produce carbon dioxide and alcohol. This is how bread, as well as other baked goods like donuts and rolls, rises perfectly. In addition to its leavening capabilities, yeast also aids in developing the gluten in the dough. This gives bread its delicious flavor. These amazing substitutes are great for when you’re in a pinch.

Not all substitutes for yeast will be able to replace it. They will give you the best results and are excellent alternatives to yeast.

Baking soda and lemon juice

Baking soda can be used to substitute for yeast and is a staple in the kitchen. Baking soda can be used alone, but you will need to mix it with acid like lemon juice, buttermilk or equal parts of milk and vinegar.

You will need to substitute yeast for baking soda or acid in a 1:1 ratio. If the recipe calls to make 2 teaspoons of yeast, you will need 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon acid. You don’t need to allow the dough to rise as you would with yeast when you use this substitute.

Baking Powder

Baking powder is another great alternative to yeast! Baking powder can be used in place of yeast in recipes. If the recipe calls to use 2 teaspoons yeast, you can substitute 2 baking powder.

Baking powder, unlike baking soda, is ready-to-use because it already has an acid. Baking powder reacts immediately to heat and liquid, so your baked goods won’t need additional time to rise. It’s also a great ingredient for making quick loaves of bread like biscuits, cakes, pancakes, and cornbread.

Beaten egg whites

You can substitute baking powder with beaten egg whites if you don’t like the taste of the baking powder. Beat eggs to add air to help them act as leavening agents. You could add a splash of ginger ale or club soda to make it even more effective.

This substitute might not suit traditional bread recipes, but it would make a wonderful swap in cakes, muffins and other baked goods. If your recipe calls for eggs, you can separate the yolks and whites from the egg whites, then add the yolks to your other ingredients. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with the sugar until they are fluffy and airy. Fold the egg whites with the sugar into the rest of the ingredients. Keep as much air in the mixture as possible. Don’t overmix.

Self-Rising Flour

Although self-rising flour can’t replace yeast per se, it can be used as a leavening agent for many baked goods. This flour would make a great ingredient for making quick loaves of bread, such as pizza dough and pancakes.

In most recipes, all-purpose flour can be substituted for self-rising flour. Remember that all-purpose flour already contains baking powder and salt, so you will need to modify the recipe accordingly.

Sourdough starter

You can make delicious homemade bread in many ways. The most popular method is to use store-bought active yeast. However, you can make your bread by using a starter sourdough. A sourdough yeast starter is a fermented mixture of wild yeast, lactobacilli bacteria and flour. It is made of flour and water and has a slightly tangy taste due to the yeast’s natural fermentation process.

Sourdough starters work in the same way that active dry yeast. They form bubbles of carbon dioxide within the dough, which aids in bread rising. One package of yeast can be replaced by one cup (300g) of sourdough starter. It’s also easier than you might think to make a sourdough recipe from scratch. You only need flour, water, and patience to make delicious, chewy bread in your kitchen. 

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