Whether you’re tossing together a homemade pizza or making some dinner rolls, yeast is one of the ingredients you need in order to get your bread to rise perfectly. And while we’re all trying out some fun new quarantine recipes, grocery stores are running out of yeast pretty fast. So we set out to find some ways to replace it if you can’t get your hands on any.
Yeast is used in baking to make your dough rise. It activates when water is present causing carbon dioxide bubbles to form and the dough to expand and become fluffy. This process is called leavening, and it helps your bread to become pillowy and delightful. Luckily, two other leavening agents can help you get your bread to rise if you don’t have yeast to work with. Check out two of them below.
If you’re wondering whether or not you can use baking powder to replace yeast, the answer is yes. Baking powder is made from baking soda and acid. When added to water, the ingredients in baking powder react and produce carbon dioxide bubbles that expand once heated, causing your bread dough to rise in the same way that yeast would. There is also a benefit of using baking powder over yeast: It reacts and causes dough to rise immediately, whereas yeast takes some time.
To replace yeast with baking powder in your recipes, you can substitute it in the same amount. Keep in mind, baking powder won’t cause your bread to rise quite as much as yeast does, but it works if you’re in a pinch!
Baking Soda Plus Acid
As mentioned, baking powder is just made of baking soda and acid, so you could also make your own mixture of baking soda plus any acid you have in your home like buttermilk or lemon juice to use as a yeast replacement. The acid and baking soda react with one another when introduced to water, again causing bubbles to form and dough to rise.
To use baking soda and acid as a leavening agent, replace half of the desired amount of yeast with baking soda and the other half with acid. In other words, if a recipe requires two tablespoons of yeast, use one tablespoon of acid and one tablespoon of baking soda. Again, your dough won’t rise quite as much as it would if you used regular yeast, but it’s the perfect hack to use on the spot.
So if your grocery store stock is low but you’re craving a homemade focaccia, test out one of these simple yeast replacements. Happy baking!