Yeast are tiny plant microorganisms that exist all around us-in the soil, on plants, and even in the air. They have been around for so long that they have been called the oldest plant cultivated by man. This type of leavening agent refers to biological yeast.
Why yeast is needed
Yeast serves as one of the leavening agents in the fermentation process, which is necessary in baking rolls, bread, cakes, pizza, and other confections. The purpose of any sourdough is to produce the gas that makes the bread rise. Yeast does this by feeding on the sugar in the flour and releasing carbon dioxide in the process. As the yeast feeds on the sugar, it produces carbon dioxide. This gas, which has nowhere to go but up, slowly fills the balloon. A very similar process takes place when bread is lifted. Carbon dioxide from the yeast fills thousands of bubbles in the dough. When the bread is baked, it gives the loaf an airy texture.
There are a number of benefits to using yeast:
- The dough becomes elastic.
- The dough becomes firmer
- A porous crumb is formed
- The product becomes richer in flavor and aroma
Why replace yeast?
To begin with, you must understand why you want to substitute yeast. Most often, the answer is that the yeast was not there when you wanted it, or it was past its expiration date. You should not use an expired product that has a smell and traces of mold. In this case, it is better to find a replacement yeast or buy new ones.
Also, for medical reasons, yeast baking can be prohibited for people with digestive disorders, it is caused when yeast products are consumed too often.
Can I swap dry yeast for live yeast and vice versa?
There are many recipes for yeast dough, and everyone chooses his or her favorite. But it often happens that the ingredients list contains dry yeast and the fridge contains fresh yeast or vice versa. This is where the question of interchangeability comes in.
The difference between dry and live yeast:
- Live yeast: also known as compressed yeast, is sold in blocks. This yeast is diluted in water/milk. They can be kept for 30-35 days in a closed container and 10-12 days in the refrigerator after they are opened. The exact shelf life is always listed on the package. Pressed yeast requires moisture for storage.
- Dry yeast: granulated and sold in sachets. Dry yeast is in an inactive state and can be stored on a shelf without refrigeration for up to 2 years. Dry yeast is added immediately to the flour.
Now let’s move directly to the calculations. So, what proportions should be observed when replacing one yeast with another?
1:3 is the ratio of pressed to fast-acting. The ratio of pressed to active must be reduced by another 20%, i.e., 1:2.4. But this is true for recipes up to 5% sugar to flour. Active yeasts are slow at higher sugar contents. They are ideal for wheat and rye-wheat breads and unsweetened baked goods.
Products that replace yeast
Yeast is a leavening agent that helps dough rise and make baked goods soft, light and airy. If you can’t find leavening agent at the grocery store or need to avoid yeast, you can use other ingredients instead.
However, because yeast is a living organism that creates fermentation products, it is difficult to create the exact flavor and texture with these substitutes. If you are using yeast for baking, here are some possible alternatives.
Leavening agent contains both tartar and baking soda in its composition. The chemical reaction that occurs with leavening agent (carbon dioxide) helps the dough rise. The leavening agent is great for making biscuits, muffins, cookies, pancakes, or breads.
The leavening agent is ideal for making yeast-free dough for pizza, cakes, muffins, and quick breads. But it may not work if the dough requires kneading.
It works similarly to yeast, but faster. When the liquid comes into contact with the leavening agent, it immediately forms bubbles. Then, when it goes into the oven, these bubbles expand and cause the dough to rise. Don’t leave the dough waiting. Once the dough is ready, send it into the oven as soon as possible. The texture and flavor will be slightly different, but still delicious.
Leavening agent is used instead of yeast for a variety of reasons. One reason is convenience, because leavening agent does not require much time to prepare the sourdough for the dough and, unlike a form of yeast, such as active dry yeast, does not need to be rehydrated. Another reason occurs when a particular dough cannot hold gas bubbles for more than a few minutes, and another reason is when the flavor profile resulting from fermentation would be undesirable.
Baking soda, like yeast, is a leavening agent. Unlike yeast, baking soda needs acid to activate it. When acid is added to baking soda, a chemical reaction occurs that releases carbon dioxide and fills baked goods with air – just like yeast does. The auxiliary sour ingredient used is:
- Sour milk products ( kefir, sour milk, yogurt, sour cream)
- Vinegar: table, apple or wine vinegar
- citric acid or lemon juice
- honey, treacle, buttermilk
- cocoa powder
Add the baking soda to the dry ingredients and the sour ingredient to the liquid ingredients
To substitute one teaspoon of yeast, use:
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1/4 teaspoon milk + 1/4 teaspoon vinegar
Yeast substitutes take no time to rise. Measure all other ingredients in the recipe into a bowl ahead of time and then add the yeast substitute. Bake immediately; do not leave the dough to wait.
Baking soda, milk and vinegar
In this case, vinegar and milk react with baking soda, helping the baked goods to rise. The texture will be different, but it works as an alternative substitute.
Ratio: substitute yeast in equal amounts, but divide it equally between baking soda, milk and vinegar. To explain, use 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon vinegar and ½ teaspoon milk. This replaces 2 teaspoons of yeast.
Baking soda and lemon juice.
In this combination, you use baking soda and lemon juice, which is essentially a base and acid (as opposed to tartar in the leavening agent).
Ratio: as with vinegar, replace 2 teaspoons of yeast with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of acid, in this case citric acid.
Kefir, standing for 2-3 days, will perfectly replace yeast. The dough on kefir turns out very soft, lush and slightly sour. It is best suited for making fried pies. The product is introduced warm to allow the lactic acid bacteria to work quickly. Bubbles on the surface indicate the process of fermentation. For a better effect, a pinch of baking soda is added. It neutralizes excess acidity and adds puffiness.
One of the best ways to do without using yeast is to make your own sourdough. Sourdough not only gives a nice sour flavor, but it also loosens the bread. If you want to substitute yeast in the recipe, you can substitute 1 bag of active dry yeast for 1 cup of sourdough.
But since sourdough also contains flour and water, you need to reduce the amount of water in the recipe by 1/2 cup and the flour by 3/4 cup. Keep in mind that it will take five to seven days for the sourdough to mature enough to be used after it has been made. This method of substitution is not the quickest.
How to adapt recipes when using yeast substitute
Yeast takes time to rise in order to prepare the starter. These substitutes do NOT require a rise time ( except for the starter). In fact, for best results, you should aim to send the dough into the oven as soon as possible after adding the yeast substitute. So ignore any recipe instructions that call for letting the dough rise.
When can yeast be substituted?
While many recipes can be successful with yeast substitute, not all recipes work well when it happens. Baking these items is possible with yeast substitute:
- pizza dough
- Buns, etc.
It is important to remember that any substitution of ingredients in the recipe requires time to work out. Of course, the exact same texture and flavor as baked goods will not work with yeast dough.
When can you not substitute yeast?
When making a kneaded bread recipe, replacing the yeast doesn’t always work. Substitute does not have the same effect as yeast for leavening bread.
Remember, because yeast is a living organism, there are no perfect yeast substitutes for dough. But the alternatives listed above will do as a last resort! Keep in mind that your rolls, bread or pizza may have different heights or textures.