substitute for yeast in rolls

When it comes to baking fluffy and delicious rolls, yeast plays a pivotal role in achieving that perfect rise and texture. However, there are situations where you might need to explore alternatives to yeast, whether due to dietary restrictions, allergies, or simply running out of this essential ingredient. This article delves into the significance of yeast in rolls, reasons for considering substitutes, and a range of alternatives that can help you craft irresistible rolls without traditional yeast.

Purpose of Yeast in Rolls:

  • Leavening Agent: Yeast ferments and releases carbon dioxide, causing dough to rise and become airy.
  • Texture Enhancement: Yeast contributes to the soft and airy texture that defines classic rolls.
  • Flavor Development: It imparts a distinctive flavor profile that complements the roll’s taste.
  • Aroma Enrichment: Yeast’s fermentation process contributes to the appealing aroma of freshly baked rolls.
  • Extended Shelf Life: Rolls made with yeast tend to stay fresh for longer periods.

Why Replace Yeast in Rolls:

  • Yeast Allergy: Individuals with yeast allergies need alternatives for safe consumption.
  • Time Constraints: Substitutes can expedite the baking process when time is limited.
  • Unique Flavors: Exploring alternatives can introduce novel taste profiles to your rolls.
  • Yeast Shortage: In case yeast is unavailable, substitutes can save the day.
  • Low-Carb Diets: Some diets restrict carb intake, prompting the search for low-carb substitutes.

Substitute: Baking Powder

Details: Baking powder is a chemical leavening agent that produces carbon dioxide when mixed with liquids.

Nutrient Amount per teaspoon
Calories 5
Total Fats 0g
Carbohydrates 1.3g
Proteins 0g

How to Make: Replace yeast with an equal amount of baking powder in the roll recipe.

Substitute: Baking Soda and Lemon Juice/Vinegar

Details: Baking soda combined with acidic lemon juice or vinegar creates carbon dioxide, causing dough to rise.

Nutrient Amount per teaspoon of baking soda
Calories 0
Total Fats 0g
Carbohydrates 0g
Proteins 0g

How to Make: Mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to replace 1 teaspoon of yeast.

Substitute: Buttermilk and Baking Soda

Details: The acidity of buttermilk combined with baking soda produces carbon dioxide for leavening.

Nutrient Amount per 1 cup of buttermilk
Calories 100
Total Fats 2g
Carbohydrates 12g
Proteins 8g

How to Make: Replace the liquid component in the roll recipe with buttermilk and baking soda mixture.

Substitute: Club Soda

Details: Carbonated club soda can help create a light and airy texture in rolls.

Nutrient Amount per 1 cup of club soda
Calories 0
Total Fats 0g
Carbohydrates 0g
Proteins 0g

How to Make: Substitute the liquid in the recipe with an equal amount of club soda.

Substitute: Whipped Egg Whites

Details: Whipped egg whites create a light and airy texture when incorporated into the dough.

Nutrient Amount per egg white
Calories 17
Total Fats 0g
Carbohydrates 0.2g
Proteins 3.6g

How to Make: Gently fold whipped egg whites into the dough before baking.

Nutritional Facts Summary Table:

Substitute Calories Total Fats Carbohydrates Proteins Source Works Best In
Baking Powder 5 0g 1.3g 0g Chemical leavening Versatile
Baking Soda and Lemon Juice/Vinegar 0 0g 0g 0g Chemical reaction Rolls with an acidic twist
Buttermilk and Baking Soda 100 2g 12g 8g Acidity and chemical leavening Soft and tangy rolls
Club Soda 0 0g 0g 0g Carbonation Light and airy rolls
Whipped Egg Whites 17 0g 0.2g 3.6g Protein leavening Delicate and airy rolls


Q: Can I use baking powder instead of yeast in bread?
A: Yes, baking powder can be used, but the texture and flavor may differ slightly.

Q: Can I use baking soda and baking powder together as a yeast substitute?
A: It’s recommended to choose one substitute to avoid over-leavening.

Q: Will using buttermilk change the taste of the rolls?
A: Buttermilk can add a tangy flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the rolls.

Q: Can I mix different substitutes?
A: Experimenting with combinations may yield unique results, but be mindful of the final taste and texture.


Opting for substitutes for yeast in rolls opens up a world of possibilities for your baking endeavors. Whether you choose the reliable baking powder, the chemical reaction of baking soda with lemon juice or vinegar, the tangy twist of buttermilk and baking soda, the lightness of club soda, or the delicate texture from whipped egg whites, each alternative offers its own special touch to your rolls. By selecting the appropriate substitute, you can continue to enjoy soft, flavorful, and well-textured rolls that cater to your specific dietary or baking needs.

Ji Eun Kim

Written by Ji Eun Kim

Don't listen to anyone who says you can't be vegan and do well in sports and fitness. Vegans can do great, look good, and feel awesome!

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