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Baking Soda & Yeast Allergy

author image Linda Tarr Kent
Linda Tarr Kent is a reporter and editor with more than 20 years experience at Gannett Company Inc., The McClatchy Company, Sound Publishing Inc., Mach Publishing, MomFit The Movement and other companies. Her area of expertise is health and fitness. She is a Bosu fitness and stand-up paddle surfing instructor. Kent holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Washington State University.
Baking Soda & Yeast Allergy
Make your bread with baking soda instead of yeast. Photo Credit: Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If you enjoy baked goods but have a yeast allergy do not despair – you can substitute a formulation that contains baking soda instead when making breads, rolls and other baked goods. Also seek “quickbread” recipes that call for baking soda and eschew the use of yeast. Avoid consuming yeast if you are allergic because food allergy reactions can be life-threatening, advise the experts at the Mayo Clinic.

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Substitution Formula

Mix baking soda along with powdered vitamin C to create a yeast substitute. Use equal parts of each substance. You don’t even have to calculate a new overall amount – simply use the same quantity the recipe calls for in terms of yeast. For example, if you need 2 tablespoons yeast, mix 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon powdered vitamin C to create a 2-tablespoon quantity.


The baking soda substitute makes for a quicker cooking process. When you use the baking soda and citric acid combination in lieu of yeast you do not need to let your bread rise. In fact, baking soda is frequently used in quickbreads that do not require you to allot time for your bread rise.

How It Works

Yeast is used in cooking as a leavener, meaning it makes your baked goods rise. Leaveners do this by producing gas. Yeast feeds on the sugars in flour and expels carbon dioxide in the process. Baking soda also is a useful leavener. It reacts with acid and creates carbon dioxide, which in turn creates bubbles that get trapped within your batter.


An allergic reaction to yeast can be either mild or serious and life-threatening, so avoid using it even occasionally if you have such an allergy. Common and less severe allergy symptoms include tingling or itching in your mouth, hives or itching, dizziness or fainting, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, trouble breathing or congestion, wheezing and swelling of your face, lips, tongue, throat or other body parts. The life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis has numerous symptoms. These can include constricted or tight airways, a swollen throat that makes it hard to breathe, shock, a drop in blood pressure, a rapid pulse and dizziness or loss of consciousness.

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