substitute for yeast in pizza

Pizza is a beloved comfort food enjoyed around the world, and the foundation of a great pizza is its dough. While yeast is traditionally used to create that perfect rise and chewiness, there are times when you might need alternatives due to dietary restrictions, preferences, or lack of yeast on hand. In this article, we’ll delve into five substitutes for yeast in pizza dough, the purpose of yeast in pizza-making, reasons for considering substitutes, how to use these alternatives, and answer common questions.

Purpose of Yeast in Pizza Dough:

  1. Leavening Agent: Yeast is responsible for the dough’s rise, creating a light and airy texture that contrasts with the crispy crust.
  2. Texture Enhancer: Yeast contributes to the dough’s chewiness, making it enjoyable to bite into and providing a satisfying mouthfeel.
  3. Flavor Development: As yeast ferments, it adds a subtle tangy flavor to the dough, enhancing the overall taste of the pizza.
  4. Aroma Infusion: The fermentation process releases aromatic compounds that fill your kitchen with the delightful scent of fresh-baked pizza.
  5. Crispness Balancer: Yeast helps maintain the balance between a crispy outer crust and a soft inner crumb, a hallmark of well-made pizza.

Why Replace Yeast in Pizza Dough:

  1. Dietary Restrictions: Some individuals follow yeast-free diets due to sensitivities or health reasons.
  2. Immediate Baking: Yeast dough requires time to rise, while substitutes offer quicker options for when you want pizza in a hurry.
  3. Experimentation: Exploring substitutes opens up opportunities to create unique flavors and textures in your pizza dough.
  4. Availability: In times when yeast is scarce, substitutes come to the rescue, ensuring you can still enjoy homemade pizza.
  5. Alternative Flavors: Different substitutes bring distinct flavors, allowing you to tailor your pizza dough to suit specific cuisines.

1. Baking Powder:

Baking powder is a leavening agent that can provide a quick rise to your pizza dough, resulting in a softer texture.

Nutritional Values Per 1 tsp
Calories 5
Total Fats 0g
Carbohydrates 2g
Proteins 0g

How to Make: Mix 1 part baking powder with 2 parts cream of tartar and 1 part cornstarch to create your own baking powder.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar:

A combination of baking soda and vinegar creates carbon dioxide gas, leading to a rise in the dough.

Nutritional Values Per 1 tsp
Calories 0
Total Fats 0g
Carbohydrates 0g
Proteins 0g

How to Make: Replace yeast with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of vinegar for every 1 teaspoon of yeast in the recipe.

3. Yogurt or Buttermilk:

Yogurt or buttermilk contribute to the dough’s texture and flavor, creating a tangy and tender crust.

Nutritional Values Per 1 oz
Calories 15
Total Fats 1g
Carbohydrates 2g
Proteins 1g

How to Use: Replace yeast with an equal amount of yogurt or buttermilk in the dough recipe. Adjust liquid content if needed.

4. Self-Rising Flour:

Self-rising flour contains baking powder and salt, providing leavening and seasoning to your pizza dough.

Nutritional Values Per 1 cup
Calories 455
Total Fats 1g
Carbohydrates 95g
Proteins 11g

How to Use: Replace regular flour with self-rising flour in your pizza dough recipe and omit additional leavening agents.

5. Sour Dough Starter:

A sourdough starter adds both leavening and a distinctive tangy flavor to your pizza dough.

Nutritional Values Per 1 oz
Calories 21
Total Fats 0g
Carbohydrates 4g
Proteins 1g

How to Make: Prepare a sourdough starter by combining equal parts flour and water and allowing it to ferment for several days.

Nutrition Facts Summary:

Substitute Calories Total Fats Proteins Carbohydrates Source Works Best In
Baking Powder 5 0g 0g 2g Leavening agent Quick and soft crusts
Baking Soda & Vinegar 0 0g 0g 0g Leavening reaction Fast and airy crusts
Yogurt or Buttermilk 15 1g 1g 2g Dairy Tangy and tender dough
Self-Rising Flour 455 1g 11g 95g Flour with leavening Convenient and flavorful
Sour Dough Starter 21 0g 1g 4g Fermented dough Tangy and rustic crusts


1. Can I use self-rising flour instead of regular flour?
Yes, you can, but remember to adjust the other ingredients in your recipe accordingly.

2. Will yogurt make my dough tangy?
Yes, yogurt can add a mild tanginess to the dough, enhancing the overall flavor.

3. Can I use these substitutes for other types of bread?
Absolutely, these substitutes can work for various types of bread and baked goods that require yeast.

4. Will baking soda and vinegar affect the taste of the pizza?
No, the reaction between baking soda and vinegar is minimal and won’t significantly alter the flavor.

5. Can I combine different substitutes?
Yes, you can experiment with combinations to achieve the desired texture and flavor in your pizza dough.


The world of pizza-making is full of exciting possibilities, and exploring substitutes for yeast in pizza dough allows you to embark on a culinary adventure. Each alternative brings its unique character to the dough, offering you the flexibility to create a pizza that suits your preferences, time constraints, and dietary needs. So whether you’re seeking a quick rise, a tangy twist, or a convenient option, these substitutes are here to ensure your homemade pizza remains a delicious and satisfying treat.

Yuki Tanaka

Written by Yuki Tanaka

I'm from Utashinai and I love tasty food and nice words. I also write blogs, take pictures of food, and create recipes. Cooking and baking are my favorite things to do!

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