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How to: best yeast alternatives – 6 substitutes

best yeast alternatives

What are the best yeast alternatives? Our guide explains what yeast is, and the top 6 substitutes for yeast in cooking and food recipes.

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Yeast is not well tolerated by everyone. More and more people are even allergic. We present six alternatives to conventional yeast.

Yeast is almost irreplaceable as a raising agent. The dough opens, becomes fluffy and soft. But not everyone wants or can use yeast. If there is a food intolerance, alternatives are sought. These can be found, because ultimately it is only a matter of finding a replacement that takes over the task of yeast and lets the dough rise.

What is yeast?

Ultimately, yeasts are unicellular fungi that derive energy from sugar substances. The baker’s yeast was originally obtained from the yeasts necessary for beer production. 

Today baker’s yeast is mostly produced industrially. It is a rising agent used in breads and other bakery recipes, but also a large range of other foods (see list below). Baking yeast, brewer’s yeast or culture yeast are other common names.

Many foods contain yeast:

  • beer
  • cheese
  • loaf
  • vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • peanuts
  • tomatoes
  • Mushrooms

Best yeast alternatives – 6 substitutes

Yeast allergies are not easy to diagnose, so it can be assumed that the number of unreported cases is quite high. Flu-like symptoms or indigestion (such as stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea) and rash are not automatically associated with baker’s yeast.

»Tip: If you suffer from recurring symptoms of these symptoms, you can keep a food diary and maybe expose yeast as the culprit.

Yeast water

Those who cannot tolerate the yeast commercial product can switch to natural yeast water. Everyone can easily make this alternative product themselves as one of the best yeast alternatives.

»Tip: Yeast water is not only better tolerated than conventional yeast, but also has a positive effect on the intestinal flora and can help with constipation.

A whole range of ingredients can serve as a basis:

  • Plums
  • Dates
  • Raisins
  • Apricots
  • Strawberries

You can also experiment with flowers and all other types of fruit. It should be dried fruit that can be easily removed from the container used for the production.

You need the following ingredients for a 0.75 liter bottle:

  • two to three plums, dates or apricots
  • 50 grams of raw cane sugar
  • 0.75 liters of warm, boiled water

That’s how it’s done:

  1. Clean the bottle and rinse it hot
  2. Fill in ingredients
  3. Close the bottle tightly
  4. Shake bottle well several times a day

Yeast water takes about eight days to be ready to use. The first small bubbles appear on the surface after only a few days. It is important to open the bottle briefly before and after shaking to let the gases escape.

The finished yeast water stays well chilled for several weeks. The application is very easy. The amount of liquid specified in the recipes is simply replaced by the yeast water. You can prepare the dough as usual. It is advantageous if the mass rests overnight.

Baking powder

Baking powder is a real all-rounder, as a baking ingredient as well as a cleaning and cleaning agent in the household, and is one of the best yeast alternatives. When baking powder is added to the dough, the white powder reacts with the moisture and releases carbon dioxide. Small gas bubbles loosen up the dough. The baking powder has its full effect when you have put the baked goods in the oven and there is high heat.

The effect can be explained on the raising agents disodium diphosphate and sodium hydrogen carbonate in combination with diphosphates as acidulants.

Tartar baking powder

Tartar baking powder (sometimes called cream of tartar) is no different in use from conventional baking powder. The only difference is the acidifying agent used. It is a phosphate-free product. Pure tartar is used as the acidifying agent.

If the baking powder is to serve as a yeast substitute, just under four grams of tartar baking powder must be counted to 100 grams of flour.

Baking soda

Similar to baking powder, baking soda is known as a versatile home remedy. Baking soda can be used to make bread, rolls or cakes. To make the dough rise, baking soda needs an acidifier.

Here you can fall back on:

  • Lemon juice
  • vinegar
  • Buttermilk
  • yogurt

»Tip: Since baking soda reacts immediately with the dough, the finished dough should be put in the oven quickly.

Experience has shown that baking soda works more reliably than baking soda.

Baking fermenter

This powder can be used like yeast. You only need three grams of baking ferment for one kilogram of flour. The substance can also replace a leaven.

Bread made with a baking ferment contains lactic acid, which keeps the microbiome in the intestine intact and inhibits the development of putrefactive bacteria. It is a healthy product that has a positive impact on our immune system.

Sourdough instead of yeast dough

To replace the yeast dough when baking bread, sourdough is a good choice. Sourdough bread is very well tolerated and has a strong taste. The production takes a little more time.

All you need to prepare a leaven is water and rye flour. However, it takes a little patience until the dough is ready for baking, because the production takes place in a few steps.

»Tip: During the production of sourdough, gases are created and therefore enormous pressure. At best, therefore, use a mason jar that you seal WITHOUT rubber.

Day 1
Mix 50 grams of rye flour with 50 milliliters of lukewarm water and keep the dough in a warm place (25-35 degrees) for 24 hours. After 12 hours, whisk air under the base with a whisk and then let the dough rest again.

Day 2-3
On the following two days add another 50 grams of rye flour and 50 milliliters of lukewarm water and stir well. Then leave the dough covered for 24 hours in a waiting place.

Day 4
The sourdough approach should now be ready. You can now put it in the refrigerator for further storage. You can also use it directly for baking. In this case, however, you should retain at least 10 grams of the mixture so that you can continue to “feed” it (see Day 2-3).

Tip: If you want to use the first approach to baking, you must note that it still has a rather weak driving force and that yeast may have to be used for the time being.