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Using Yeast as a Bicarbonate of Soda Substitute in Baking

Yeast is used in various bread recipes, including dinner rolls, pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, and most loaf bread. It causes the dough to rise, resulting in soft, pillowy bread.

It’s commonly sold as instant or active dry yeast for baking, a light brown powder made up of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Carbon dioxide bubbles are created, which become trapped in the dense dough. They then expand when exposed to heat or room temperature, causing the dough to rise. Leavening produces larger, fluffier, and softer baked items than flatbreads and crackers that do not rise. You might be wondering if you can do this leavening process without yeast. Fortunately, several additional compounds can mimic yeast’s baking effect.

Yeast is an excellent alternative for bicarbonate of soda in baking. Yeast is a living organism with a characteristic flavour used as bicarbonate of soda alternative. In bread baking, Bob’s Red Mill advocates utilising yeast. However, the amounts might be problematic. Spiceography recommends basing the amount on the amount of flour you use – two teaspoons for every four cups of flour.

What are Some Substitutes for Yeast as Bicarbonate in Baking?

  • Potassium bicarbonate

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Potassium bicarbonate as a bicarbonate-of-soda alternative has a number of advantages. It has the chemical formula KHCO3 and is an alkaline mineral. This molecule is also extensively used as a pH regulator and a food additive in medicines. It’s commonly used to boost the taste and fizz of club soda.

Potassium bicarbonate is a wonderful baking soda alternative because it has no sodium. Although potassium bicarbonate will leaven a baked item, it has a somewhat salty flavour. You may need to add salt to compensate for the lack of flavour, depending on your recipe. This is a wonderful option for people trying to cut down on their sodium intake. It is, however, not as widely available as baking soda.

Despite having the same effect as sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate is not a perfect bicarbonate of soda alternative. Because potassium bicarbonate has a milder flavour than sodium bicarbonate, it’s less typically employed in baking. It’s also more difficult to store potassium bicarbonate than sodium bicarbonate. To make the same amount of carbon dioxide, you’ll need more baking powder.

  • Ammonium carbonate

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Baking and smelling salt are two prominent uses for ammonium carbonate. When baked, it decomposes into carbon dioxide and ammonia as byproducts. Its usage as a leavening agent can be traced back to ancient Greece. Baking powder was sometimes used to substitute for baking soda in the home before its popularity. It’s quite safe to eat in small amounts. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designated ammonium hydroxide as GRAS in 1974.

Ammonium carbonate is a helpful baking replacement in addition to its usage in baking. Baking powder can be substituted for ammonium carbonate in recipes that call for it. It can be used to replace baking soda in a one-to-one ratio. The amounts of alkali and acidic salts in the two components differ.

Although ammonium bicarbonate has no effect on the pH of baked goods, it can generate unpleasant smells and odours. Ammonium bicarbonate is also slightly salty, leaving a harsh aftertaste in baked goods. This substance is created in an absorption column or packed tower and filtered to remove wastewater. The crystals are then dried at 50 degrees Celsius. Another approach is to place chalk and ammonium chloride in iron retorts, where they react with ammonia to produce carbon dioxide.

  • Cream of tartar

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Cream of tartar is commonly used to stabilise sugar because it is an acidic substance. Sugar can readily crystallise without it, making chewing more difficult. Snickerdoodles wouldn’t be the same without it. It’s also used to restore the lustre of silver. It is rarely found in supermarkets, unlike the bicarbonate of soda.

Cream of tartar is a white powder found in the baking aisle used to stabilise whipped egg whites in meringues and cakes, prevent sugar crystallisation in candies and caramel, and activate baking powder.

It’s the salt of tartaric acid, the parent ingredient. Thankfully, the culinary industry has given it a more appealing moniker: cream of tartar. The word “tartar” is derived from the word “tartaric” in tartaric acid.

  • Sourdough starter

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Naturally, occurring yeast can be found in the sourdough starter. It’s formed from flour and water, and it’s used to make sourdough bread, which has a somewhat tangy flavour because of the yeast’s natural fermentation process. Some sourdough starters are kept for years, fermenting continuously to give artisan sourdough bread a robust taste and soft, chewy texture.

A sourdough starter ferments the dough in the same manner that instant yeast does, producing carbon dioxide bubbles that cause the dough to rise. You can replace one 2-teaspoon box of yeast with 1 cup (300 grams) of sourdough starter.

Lower the amount of flour in the recipe if your starter is thick, and if your starter is thin, either reduce the amount of liquid or increase the amount of flour to obtain the desired texture. The rise time is roughly doubled when using sourdough starter instead of yeast.

You can replace 2 teaspoons of yeast with 1 cup (300 grams) of sourdough starter. You may need to increase the flour or liquid amounts in the recipe and double the rising time. It will take at least 5 days to make your own sourdough starter.

What is the Difference Between Yeast and Baking Powder and Baking Soda?

Whether you’ve been baking for a long time or are just getting started, you’ve probably come across three popular baking ingredients: baking powder, yeast, and baking soda. Baking soda, baking powder, and yeast are sometimes mistaken in baking recipes since they are leavening agents (they help the dough or batter rise in baked goods). Despite having similar effects, they are fundamentally distinct, and the consequences of a mistaken exchange can be disastrous. Though baking powder, baking soda, and yeast are sometimes confused, it is critical to understand how these components interact with other ingredients and impact the total recipe.

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a frequent leavening additive. Baking soda is naturally crystalline, but it is ground into a fine powder when used in cooking. Pancakes, muffins, scones, cakes, and even some fried meals are commonly leavened with baking soda. Because baking soda is a base, it will react with any acid it comes into contact with. Baking soda produces little gaseous carbon dioxide bubbles due to its alkaline chemical composition when mixed with acid.

Baking powder is made out of baking soda, cream of tartar, and, on rare occasions, cornstarch. Baking powder comes in two types: single-acting and double-acting, the most popular.

Yeast is a single-celled creature that consumes sugar and excretes carbon dioxide. Dough leavening happens as a result of this biological interaction. Though yeast can be purchased fresh or dried, it is usually dormant when first purchased at the shop due to shelf stability.

There are significant differences between baking soda, baking powder, and yeast, producing carbon dioxide gas and leaven dough. Baking soda is a simple base that requires adding an acid, such as yogurt, lemon juice, or vinegar, to be activated. Baking soda is commonly used in quick bake recipes like muffins, scones, and pancakes due to the rapid nature of the gas bubbles formed by the reaction of an acid with sodium bicarbonate. On the other hand, baking powder comprises a base (baking soda) and a dry acid (cream of tartar). This enables a double-acting leavening process in which CO2 gas bubbles are generated at two different times: during the liquid addition and then during the healing process. Baking powder is most typically employed in recipes that don’t call for an extra acid; thus, all that’s needed is water and heat.

Baking yeast varies from baking soda and baking powder in that it is a living organism that takes much longer to leaven the dough. Unlike baking powder and baking soda, yeast uses a biological process to leaven dough and cause fermentation. Yeast can change the flavor of dough by releasing residual alcohol during fermentation, making it a fantastic alternative for bread. When it comes to baking, determining the leavening product and the end result might be challenging. When using baking soda, baking powder, or yeast, it’s a good idea to think about the time, the end product, the components, and the flavor.

What is the Purpose of Yeast in Baking?

In fermentation, yeast has two fundamental functions:

To turn sugar into carbon dioxide gas, which aerates and raises the dough. To soften and condition the gluten in the dough, absorb and hold the rising gases evenly. Yeast enhances the number of baked goods while improving the flavour, texture, grain, colour, and eating quality. When yeast, water, and flour are combined in the proper conditions, all of the necessary ingredients for fermentation are present, including enough soluble protein to make new cells and enough sugar to feed them.

When yeast enzymes convert complex sugar to invert sugar, activity begins within the cells. The inverted sugar is transformed into carbon dioxide gas and alcohol within the yeast cell. Other enzymes in the yeast and flour transform soluble starch into malt sugar, which is then changed back into fermentable sugar by other enzymes, resulting in aeration from the constant creation of carbon dioxide.

When stored in the refrigerator, compressed yeast ages and weakens with time. Fresh yeast is wet and solid, and it crumbles uniformly when broken. It smells pleasant and fresh, then turns into a sticky mass with a cheesy odour.

What are the Benefits of Nutritional Yeast?

  • Increasing energy

While some manufacturers add vitamin B-12 to nutritional yeast, not all do, so make sure to read the label. Vitamin B-12 shortage can cause weakness and weariness, so having enough of it can help you feel more energised.

Because vitamin B-12 is usually found in animal products, nutritional yeast with added vitamin B-12 can be especially beneficial for vegetarians and vegans.

  • Immune system assistance

cerevisiae, the yeast strain found in nutritional yeast, has been demonstrated to enhance the immune system and reduce inflammation caused by bacterial infection, according to research by Trusted Source. It may also be beneficial in the treatment of diarrhoea.

  • Promoting the health of your skin, hair, and nails

According to certain studies, nutritional yeast can help with brittle nails and hair loss. It may also aid in the reduction of acne and the improvement of other common skin disorders, especially in youth.

  • Increasing sensitivity to glucose

While some people feel that nutritional yeast increases glucose sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes, research to back this up to have yet to be conducted. However, in an animal model, some research on chromium-enriched yeast (typically brewer’s yeast) indicated that this form of yeast could lower fasting blood glucose levels and cholesterol.

Is Bicarbonate of Soda and Baking Soda the Same?

Bicarbonate of Soda, often known as Bicarb or Baking Soda, is a baking soda used to raise or aerate a variety of baked goods. Bicarbonate of soda, with the chemical code NaHCO3, is the active ingredient in FREEE Bicarbonate of Soda. It’s inherently alkaline, and it reacts with the acidic elements in a recipe and the heat in the oven to produce bubbles and lift during baking. It might have a metallic flavour if used too much.

Bicarbonate of soda is a pure leavening agent that works best when combined with moisture and an acidic element like lemon juice, chocolate, or honey. Baking powder has its own acidic ingredient, usually cream of tartar, so it’s ready to use.


Yeast is a necessary ingredient in many recipes. Having yeast on hand is essential when baking excellent bread and preparing tasty pizza dough. Many recipes call for yeast while preparing delicious cakes.

A few replacements will suffice and allow you to cook your favorite dish even if you don’t have yeast. A yeast substitute will not always work when making a kneaded bread recipe. The substitute does not leaven the bread in the same way as yeast does.

It’s worth noting that some dietary restrictions necessitate yeast rather than substances like eggs. Vegan brownies, for example, can be produced without eggs by using quick yeast.