substitute for yeast in pizza

Having a substitute for yeast in pizza is very handy.

When it comes to making pizza, yeast is a very essential ingredient, however most times it might not always be accessible.

This is why one must always have an alternative.

It is no doubt that pizza is everyone’s favorite, and most certainly, my kids’ favorite.

It has been our home tradition to make pizza every Sunday. But in the middle of the pandemic, we were unable to access a key ingredient for making our beloved pizza which is yeast.

Read on and I will share with you the other substitute for yeast and the recipe my grandma gave me. 

The substitute for yeast according to my grandma’s cookbook is baking powder. Some people also use sourdough starters.

Why Is Yeast Important In Baking Pizza?

why yeast is important

The importance of yeast can not be underestimated, in both beverage-making and pastry-making.

Yeast, which is a single-cell living organism, is responsible for the quality and taste of our food. 

The scientific name for yeast is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It begins to react when it comes in contact with water and heat.

It reacts by eating up sugar to produce carbon dioxide bubbles. The expansion of these bubbles is what makes our dough rise, become fluffy, and have a smooth texture. 

However, a lot of times, the yeast might not always be available. In fact, most grocery stores run out of yeast pretty quickly and some people tend to have an allergy to yeast.

Therefore to continue to enjoy your pizza, you need a substitute for yeast in pizza. 

However, these substitutes are less likely to match the pizza. You will realize that your pizza will end up not as tasty as it would have been with yeast. 

Also, there is likely to be a variation with the textures, that these substitutes are not as soft and supple as yeast would have been. 

Is There A Substitute For Yeast In Pizza Dough?

substitute for yeast in pizza dough

In the heat of the lockdown, I was stuck with the question of what can I substitute for yeast in pizza dough.

I had every other ingredient required to make my pizza, except yeast.

And would I let that stop me from making pizza? Certainly not. So, is there a substitute for yeast in pizza dough? Dive right in!

I went through my grandma’s personalized cookbook, there she admittedly wrote all her cooking and baking recipes.

I found just what I needed as substitutes for yeasts in baking and how to measure them for making dough.

These substitutes are regular baking ingredients that can be combined.

And they can be used individually to attain a near-perfect yeast effect for pastry doughs. 

It should be noted that while this substitute gives a fine and tasty result, they are not a complete substitute for yeast. And they can not be used on every pastry product.

Let’s take a look at the substitute for yeast in pizza dough;

Option #1: Baking Powder

a baking powder

Baking powder is the most common and used substitute for yeast in pizza and other pastry dough.

For a fact, baking powder has always been used by many bakers as a leavening agent for their pastries. And do not even realize that it serves the purpose of leavening. 

Certain bakers use a combination of baking powder and yeast when mixing their dough for it to rise.

However, little did we know that using baking powder alone can act as a substitute for yeast.

Baking powder performs the same reaction of releasing carbon dioxide into the dough causing it to rise, and have a smooth look. 

Unlike yeast, baking powder is an instant reaction and doesn’t require long hours before it begins to respond.

Immediate contact with liquid and heat will cause the baking powder to begin reacting.

The ratio for mixing baking soda is the exact amount in place of yeast.

Option #2: Baking Soda And An Acid

the baking soda and acid

Baking powder is basically a manufactured baking soda mixed with an acid such as cream of tartar and other sub-ingredients.

Therefore, the combination of baking soda as well as other edible acids can serve as a great substitute for yeast.

These acids could include cream of tartar, lemon juice, buttermilk, and vinegar 

The combination of baking soda and any of the above-mentioned acids will replicate the reaction of baking soda and make the dough rise.

It is a very effective substitute and is readily accessible. And like the baking powder doesn’t require a long rest time to fully react.   

When using baking soda and acid, the ratio should be an equal amount of the baking soda and acid. This should then add up to the substituted amount of yeast.

That is, if the initial amount of yeast to be used was 2 teaspoons, then the ratio of baking soda should be 1 teaspoon and 1 teaspoon of the acid.

Tip: Just like yeast, ensure that baking soda or baking powder is still on its shelf period.

Option #3: Sourdough Starter

the sourdough starter

The sourdough starter is another great substitute for yeast.

Made from just flour and water, the sourdough starter is mostly used for making a sourdough beard.

They act as instant yeast, replicating the effect of yeast in dough by creating bubbles that expand the dough.

They are mostly homemade and require a 5-day to 7-day period of preparation and fermentation to be fully ready.

Once they are fully made, they can be maintained and used for periods of months and even years.

A cup of sourdough will substitute for 2 teaspoons of yeast.

Option #4. Beaten Egg Whites

In the absence of yeast in pizza. You still have more options. Away from sourdough starter, you also have the option to use beaten egg whites.

To improve the leavening process, club soda is used alongside beaten egg whites. 

Beaten egg whites are filled with air upon beating and breaking, a move that helps in the leavening of your pizza. 

Tip: If the pizza has eggs already, then ditch the yolk and use the whites.

How To Make A No Yeast Pizza Dough

make a no yeast pizza

Now let’s review the recipe for making pizza dough without yeast

Step #1: Prepare Your Ingredients

First mix three cups of all-purpose flour with ½ teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt. You can use any other flour of your choice.

Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and ½ tablespoon of baking powder.

Step #2: Mix Properly and Store

Add 2 tablespoons of oil and then ½ cup of water, mix the entire mixture either with a spatula or a mixer until the contents are completely mixed.

Using your washed hands, knead the dough for about 10-15 mins.

Add little amounts of water when necessary until the dough is smooth, soft, and has a fine texture.

mix properly ans store

Spread dough into the pizza pan and add your desired toppings.

Or you can store it in your fridge for a week or freezer for as long as 6 months to be used whenever desired.

Tip: When using a sourdough starter, reduce the amount of flour to be used as the sourdough starter is completely made from flour.


Now that you have your substitute for yeast in pizza, you can make your pizza or any other pastry product without the need for yeast.

However, this substitute, while they give excellent results and some bakers even prefer them, they are not a complete substitute for yeast in pizza.

Pizza made with yeast tends to have a finer crust than pizza made with these substitutes. 

The closest to giving a more similar result is the sourdough starter which leaves your pizza with a little bit of a sour taste.

Whichever one you decide to use, ensure the pizza is delicious, and do have a lovely pizza day.