Question: Can I substitute yeast for baking powder (or vice versa)
Answer:The short answer to this question is "No."
Yeast and baking powder/soda work in fundamentally different ways, so I would not say that one can be substituted for the other with 100% success.
Recipes utilizing yeast usually must be allowed to "rise" before baking. This is because yeast is a microorganism that converts starch into alcohol and carbon dioxide. As the yeast cells slowly begin to act on the starch, bubbles of carbon dioxide are produced which are then trapped in pockets within the dough, creating the "rising" action.
Yeast is most effective when the dough contains a high amount of gluten, a starchy, elastic substance found in wheat. Gluten helps to keep the carbon dioxide bubbles contained inside the dough, thus aiding in the rising process. When heated, the carbon dioxide expands further, which makes the dough rise even more.
Baking soda and powder rely on chemical reactions for their rising power. When baking soda and powder are mixed into a recipe, they react with acid and heat to vigorously produce gases. This is why you will often see lemon juice or buttermilk (high in acid) added to dishes that These gases expand rapidly during the cooking process to create the "rising" action.
Since this chemical reaction takes place during the cooking process and does not depend on the elastic properties of gluten, it is successfully used in situations where yeast is not suitable.
Although you might want to experiment to see if you can successfully substitute yeast for baking powder or soda, you will probably have better results if you find recipes that are intended to be made with yeast in the first place.
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