Can You Bake Bread Without Yeast?

By: Bob's Red Mill | September 8 2020

Making homemade bread is likely at the top of every baker's to-do list. And why wouldn't it be? There's nothing quite as satisfying as a slice of homemade bread straight from the oven (okay, please give it a minute to cool). Now, if your kitchen is packed full of ingredients to make delicious bread and the one thing you're missing is yeast, you may think your bread making journey is over. Think again. While yeast is an important part of the bread-making process, making a delicious loaf without it is possible. Aside from making no-yeast bread, there are also a few substitutions and add-ins you can use to create the same yeast-like effect.

With baking products being in high demand right now, it's no surprise that your kitchen may be running low on yeast. If you're having trouble finding more, don't fret. To help you continue making your favorite homemade bread, we've outlined a few of our preferred ways to make no yeast bread. With just a hint of creativity, you can tweak your favorite bread recipe and make it completely yeast-free. Curious to know how? Follow these three simple methods for baking bread without yeast and let us know which you prefer.

Yeast Substitutes

Double Acting Baking Powder

Baking powder is an excellent substitute for yeast. Made from baking soda and cream of tartar (an acid), it will help reduce the carbon dioxide reaction your bread needs to rise. While regular baking powder will do, double-acting baking powder will yield the best results. Double-acting baking powder releases carbon dioxide twice, once when it is mixed with liquid and again when it is heated and put into the oven. This double release of carbon dioxide will help create the fluffy and light texture you crave. For a natural substitute, simply replace the yeast called in the recipe with an equal amount of baking powder and continue to follow the recipe as-is. 

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Can You Bake Bread Without Yeast? | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Running low on yeast and baking powder? Don't worry. There are plenty of other options out there to help your dough rise, one of our favorites being; baking soda and lemon juice. In traditional bread making, when yeast is combined with flour and water, sugars are then released. The yeast consumes these sugars and releases carbon dioxide in the process. This carbon dioxide production is what helps your bread rise. 

To create the same reaction and achieve similar results, simply mix baking soda with an acid like lemon juice. While this may seem easy enough, the tricky part is knowing how much baking soda and acid are needed to substitute the yeast called for in a recipe successfully. To produce the right amount of carbon dioxide, add equal parts of baking soda and lemon juice to equal the amount of yeast the recipe calls for. 

Example: If a recipe calls for two tablespoons of yeast, you'll want to add one tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of lemon juice to replace it successfully. Then, bake as usual and enjoy your delicious bread, straight from the oven.

Sourdough Starter

If you're looking for ways to avoid using yeast for health reasons, we recommend swapping out commercial yeast for a sourdough starter. A sourdough starter will help the bread rise, as well as give it a sweet flavor. To substitute it adequately, you'll want to replace one envelope of active dry yeast with 1 cup of starter. However, because the sourdough starter contains flour and water, you'll need to take that into account when mixing the rest of the ingredients. To do so, reduce the water called for in the recipe by half a cup and cut the flower called for 3/4 cup. While sourdough starter will create a delicious bread, it is much more time-consuming than adding yeast. In fact, it will take about 5 to 7 days for your starter to mature enough to be used. So if you're looking for a quick to make bread option, we recommend using one of the other yeast-free substitutes on this list as this probably isn't the best option for you.  

Note on Yeast Substitutes

Though all of these substitutes will make your dough rise, they won't produce identical results to that yeast. Some differences could be that your bread will not rise as tall as you're used to, the flavor is a little different, or the texture may not be exactly the same. However, if you're out of yeast or don't have the time to wait for your bread to rise, these substitutes will undoubtedly get the job done. 

Are Nutritional Yeast and Baker's Yeast Interchangeable?

Simply put, no. Nutritional yeast and baker's yeast are not interchangeable. While they may both have "yeast" in their names, they are very different. Nutritional yeast is a form of yeast that is deactivated. It's primarily used for flavoring, especially by vegans and mimics the taste of parmesan cheese. It can also be used to thicken soups and sauces. Active, dry yeast is an activated yeast (the one we've been referring to) used in loaves of bread to make them rise. While nutritional yeast can be eaten straight from the package, we would not recommend doing the same with dry yeast. Because dry yeast is still activated, it will continue to grow in your digestive tract and absorb nutrients from your body. On the other hand, deactivated nutritional yeast can actually boost your body's nutrients. Use it in your favorite soup recipe, create a creamy vegan cheese sauce, or toss it onto popcorn for a cheese-like treat. 

Still not convinced that you can bake bread without yeast? Try out a few of our favorite recipes and see for yourself.

Yeast Free Recipes

Focaccia Bread (Gluten and Yeast Free)

Can You Bake Bread Without Yeast? | Bob's Red Mill Blog

We absolutely love focaccia bread. Focaccia bread is more filling than toast, biscuits and brioches and is a staple here at Bob's Red Mill. It's full of wholesome flours and complex carbs that release steady energy and keep you full until your next meal. While most focaccia bread can be a bit eggy in taste, not all of them are. Take this delicious gluten free and yeast free Focaccia Bread, for example. It's made with a mix of White Rice Flour and Tapioca Flour to create a gluten free base. Plus, yeast is replaced with baking soda to create the perfect rise. Topped with sea salt, Italian herb seasoning, olive oil and parmesan cheese, it's the perfect savory appetizer to pair with an Italian-inspired dinner.

Gluten Free and Yeast Free Bread

Are you searching for the perfect gluten free sandwich bread? We have just the one for you. And it can be baked to perfection, without yeast. A delicious sandwich loaf, this Gluten Free and Yeast Free Bread have a great taste and texture. Made with our Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour, it's ideal for those who are new to gluten free baking. Our unique blend of flours makes it easy to create delicious gluten free recipes that taste like their gluten-filled counterparts. Gelatin, baking powder and baking soda are used to create an easily shaped bread dough that bakes into the perfect texture. Baked in just a few hours, the finished loaf should be kept in a plastic bag or frozen to preserve freshness. 

Gluten and Yeast Free Pizza Crust

Can You Bake Bread Without Yeast? | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Nearly everyone loves pizza. It's a breaded, ooey-gooey, cheesy goodness that can be topped with whatever your heart desires. But if you have stomach sensitivities, then all of that bread and cheese coming together might be a bit of a problem. Now that you know that bread can be made without yeast, you might be wondering how you can create a delicious yeast free pizza dough. We've got you covered. This Gluten Free and Yeast Free Pizza Crust is ideal for those with sensitive stomachs. Flavored with fresh herbs like rosemary and sweetened naturally with honey, it's a mouthwatering crust that tastes great when paired with everything from pepperoni to pineapple. Baked in less than a half an hour, it's the perfect recipe to make at your next homemade pizza night.

Whether you've simply run out of yeast in your pantry or recently found out that you have a yeast intolerance, there are plenty of ways to continue to enjoy bread, completely yeast-free. From sourdough starter to double-acting baking powder, we hope that this article has supplied you with the knowledge needed to bake your next homemade bread without yeast. From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, happy bread baking. 

Have a yeast-free recipe you'd like to share with us? We'd love to know what it is. Share your favorite recipes with us in the comments below!



  1. Paul
    I would assume you could use your gf bread mix to make 6in. and foot long sub rolls. how many do you think I would get from a 1lb. bag?
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Hi Paul - Our Customer Service team would be best suited to answer this question. Please email us at [email protected]

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