Here's What You Can Substitute For Yeast

If you have plans to do some baking but find that you are out of yeast packets, don't fret. You don't have to scrap your flour-filled plans. Instead of using yeast to get your dough to rise, there are a number of options that will get you to the same place. 

The first of these options, all of which use everyday household ingredients, is a squirt of lemon juice and baking soda. They should be used in equal parts and should replace the yeast at a one-to-one ratio. For example, if your recipe calls for a tablespoon of yeast, you can use half a tablespoon of lemon juice and half a tablespoon of baking soda (via The Kitchn). Whereas yeast causes baked goods to rise over time, this yeast substitute will cause the dough to begin to rise immediately. As a result, this might be a good option to use when you're baking in a hurry even if you do have some yeast in your cabinet. 

Other substitutes for yeast

However, if the inevitable lemony flavor from this substitution makes you think it won't be the perfect solution, you can also alter things slightly. But first, a quick science lesson. The reason dough rises when yeast, flour, and water are combined is because sugars are converted to carbon dioxide by the yeast (via The Spruce Eats). Carbon dioxide, a gas, is what causes the dough to expand. A similar chemical reaction can be mimicked by combining baking soda and an acid, and the acid doesn't have to be lemon juice. Buttermilk will work as well. 

Or, if you don't have any buttermilk on hand, you can create your own by combining a small amount of milk with vinegar (via Fitday). In fact, baking powder itself, which can also be used as a one-to-one substitute for yeast, is constituted from baking soda and cream of tartar, which is an acid (via Healthline).