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Old 10-29-2011, 09:22 PM   #1
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Baking soda v Yeast for baking

Could one use yeast for baking a cake instead of baking soda???

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Old 10-29-2011, 10:03 PM   #2
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No.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:11 PM   #3
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absolutely not. They are two entirely different leavening.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:22 PM   #4
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They are two entirely different leavenings.


Yes they are - but nothing prevents interchanging and trying - there will be a different taste and texture - but so what - if the result is different and good - fine!

For example - I've been making yeast pancakes - and are just great!

Yeast has the advantage of not having any Na - whereas baking soda and powder are chock full of it.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:27 PM   #5
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One is chemical and one is bacteria. I suppose if you are a very experienced baker, you could figure out a substitution, but for the average baker this isn't something that should be tried.

Baking is chemistry and a novice baker shouldn't to be lead to believe that one can be used to substitute for the other.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:28 PM   #6
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You are correct you can make yeast pancakes, they are indeed great, but they are totally different than the soda kind. So the right answer would be to ask what dcgator is making rather than say one way or another. There applications where it would work, like your pancakes (or mine for that matter) and there are recipes that would completely change and will not have the end result desired.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:41 PM   #7
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I wasn't really thinking of yeast and BS/BP being 'interchangeable' in terms of duplicating a result - only that they perform the same function of leavening - and the result will be different in taste and texture - but there sure is no reason not to have a go at trying.

It is true that baking is chemistry but if one knows the purpose of ingredients it opens the door to creativity (and some 'fun').

I've never made a cake with yeast - but have made muffins - and they turned out different from BS/BP ones but good - and did take a couple of 'tries.'
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:07 PM   #8
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The choice of baking powder for cake is based on two things. One is taste, not wanting a yeasty tasting cake. More importantly, cake flour and bread flour are different. Bread flour is high protein and high gluten flour. The gluten matrix forms during kneading and is elastic and therefore holds the carbon dioxide created by the yeast beasts and holds it for a long time. (Obviously, since you can let bread dough rise for a long time.)

All-purpose flour is in the middle, but closer to bread flour. It works for cakes. You're just not utilizing its gluten, and the cake is not a light.

Cake flour is low protein and low gluten, because you want a light cake, not a chewy bread-like product. And since no gluten matrix can form to trap CO2, a chemical leavening, baking powder, is used. So cake dough can't hold CO2 bubbles for long AND you don't want yeast flavor, so baking powder is ideal for short-lived dough. And you also have "quick breads" made with baking powder, for the same reason. Cake is just quick bread.

Why not just baking soda? Baking soda needs an acid to activate it, and that's usually something like lemon juice, but the reaction is very rapid, too rapid, and the gas can be lost before baking really gets underway. Baking powder is baking soda with one or more acid salts, and the reaction is activated by adding heat, which is when you want it to happen in a cake.

So if you're going to try yeast in a cake, it's a little tricky. You're going to get the leavening benefits of the yeast primarily during the first part of the baking, during that period before the yeast is killed. I suspect that will be hard to control. If everything works, you end up with a yeasty cake with peculiar crumb, since you will lose the great benefit of double-acting baking powder, double-acting because it has both low-heat and high-heat activated acids, so it can work over the whole baking period. Yeast can't do that. Plan accordingly.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:22 PM   #9
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I fully agree with all points made by GLC -

I would only want to say that 'sweet' products la 'cake' - can be 'yeasty' and good - and can have a chewier texture and be good - none of that is to speak anything against traditional BP/BS 'cake' - I was just saying doing some experimenting and trying can also produce something different but good (and no doubt some degree of using the waste basket). Yeast pancakes are indeed different - but good - and glad I decided to just try using yeast - I had seen no recipe nor had Google at hand but was just trying for leavening.

There is also a health issue - some are in a definite low Na situation and sweetened yeast products can help - trouble is that they are usually also in a low sugar situation so it all may be for naught :-(
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:42 PM   #10
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Yeah. I need to try some of this. I frequently wish that some cakes would have a little more substance, more chew.

There are some recipes, and that would probably be a good place for someone to start experimenting. If you're gonna have yeast cake, might as well be chocolate:

http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,186,1...249205,00.html

This one for Italian Butter Cake makes a good point, to avoid overworking the dough to avoid toughening it. (Unless that's what you want to do.)

http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,236,1...233206,00.html

For someone wondering about yeast quantities in cake recipes, this is from Livestrong. About the same ratio as for bread:

Active Dry Yeast in Cake Baking

Use active dry yeast when baking a cake by incorporating one 1/4 oz. packet or 2-1/4 tsp. to 4 cups of flour. Active dry yeast should be room temperature before using in your recipe. Active dry yeast can be added directly to dry ingredients by using liquid ingredients that are 120 F to 130 F. You can dissolve active dry yeast in liquids before using by dissolving 1 tsp. sugar in 1/2 cup of water that is 110 F to 115 F and stirring the mixture until the yeast is completely dissolved. Let the yeast mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes or until the yeast starts to foam.
Instant Yeast in Cake Baking

Instant yeast can shorten the rising period by 50 percent. You can use instant or fast-rising yeast when baking a cake by using one 1/4 oz. packet, or 2-1/4 tsp. yeast, to 4 cups of flour. Instant yeast can be added directly to dry ingredients by using liquid ingredients that are 120 F to 130 F. Instant yeast can be dissolved in liquids before using by dissolving 1 tsp. sugar in 1/2 cup of water that is 110 F to 115 F and stirring the mixture until the yeast completely dissolves. Let yeast mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it foams.

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