What to Do if There is No Leavening Agent for Dough: How to Make it and What to Replace it With

Store leavening agent is a special baking powder that consists of starch or flour, baking soda, and citric acid. This is what makes the dough rise and the baked goods become puffy, saturated with carbon dioxide.

What to replace the leavening agent in shortbread dough or any other

In order to use any kind of leavening agent substitute, it is important to understand why it helps the dough to become loose. It’s all about the combination of baking soda and citric acid – their chemical reaction releases carbon dioxide. Any substitutes repeat this tendency, so it’s important to choose them along the same lines – with the ability to release CO2.

Can I substitute baking soda for the leavening agent – Option 1

Soda itself is considered an excellent leavening agent – if the temperature rises to 60 ° C or higher, the soda begins to release carbon dioxide.

This alternative variant of the leavening agent is suitable for muffins, biscuits, custard, or shortbread dough if the composition includes sour products.

The proportion is the same – replace 1 tsp of baking powder with 1 tsp of soda. In its pure form, add it to the dough, do not quench it with vinegar.

How to make a leavening agent from baking soda and vinegar – option 2

If the baking soda in the dough does not have time to decompose, then baked goods will have an unpleasant aroma and flavor. That’s why to be careful – the absence of sour ingredients in the dough indicates that in its pure form, it can not be used and it is better to add vinegar.

Soda with vinegar is suitable for muffins, biscuits, shortbread, and custard dough, and the proportions are slightly different – 1 tsp of baking powder is replaced by 0.5 tsp of soda, carbonated with vinegar.

You have to put the carbonated soda in the dough quickly so that the carbon dioxide does not have time to escape. You also need to bake immediately, since the reaction has already started.

What to replace the baking powder except for baking soda – option 3

Alcohol is another product with which many hostesses replace leavening agents. It is suitable only for sandy yeast-free and yeast dough. Thanks to the alcohol, the dough will become airy, in addition, the resulting baked goods will have a pleasant subtle flavor.

Useful tip: rum and cognac are better added to yeast-free shortbread dough, and vodka – to yeast dough.

The proportions are simple – use 1 tbsp of alcohol per 1 kg of dough.

What to replace the leavening agent without vinegar, baking soda, and alcohol – option 4
Carbonated water – a drink that is sure to be found in every home. Strongly carbonated water fills the dough with carbon dioxide as well as any of the above ingredients.

You can use sparkling water to make muffins, unleavened, custards, and any other dough that is made with water. As for the proportions, it is important to forget about grams altogether – just replace the regular water in the recipe with carbonated water.

Homemade leavening agent – proportions and recipe

If none of the above methods of replacing the leavening agent does suit you, you can make baking powder yourself. Then it can be used to make muffins, biscuits, custards, or shortbread dough. The recipe is simple:

  • baking soda – 5 tbsp;
  • citric acid – 3 tablespoons;
  • flour – 12 tablespoons.

All the ingredients should be poured into a dry glass jar and mixed gently with a wooden spatula. It is important to use wood – metal will react with the ingredients of the powder and carbon dioxide will be released before time.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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