Out of yeast? No eggs? Don’t panic! Our guide to easy ingredient substitutions will help keep you cooking without having to leave the house.
Picture the scene - you’re craving a big slice of chocolate cake. You go to the cupboards to gather all the ingredients and disaster! You’re out of eggs. Or you’ve got the loaf tin out of the cupboard as you want to bake some bread to go with your delicious homemade soup, only to discover that you’re out of yeast and there’s none to be found in the shops.
At times like these, it’s easy to give up, despair and satisfy your cravings with a packet of biscuits. But crafty cooks know how to improvise. Simple kitchen substitutions allow you to continue to cook the way you want, without the hassle of having to leave the house. No eggs? No problem! No yeast? Well, there’s plenty of other rising agents which can do the job.
While these won’t always work like the missing ingredients, these kitchen hacks usually do the trick. And who knows? You may even come to like using them more than the originals…
Baking soda + lemon juice = Yeast
When you use yeast in a recipe, sugars are released and consumed by it, which then releases carbon dioxide. This is what makes your dough rise. You can create a similar effect by combining baking soda with an acid, such as lemon juice.
If you want to successfully substitute the yeast called for in a recipe, you just need to swap in the right amount of baking soda and acid to make the dough rise. For example, if your bread recipe calls for a teaspoon of yeast, use half a teaspoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon of lemon juice. Just make sure you bake it right away, as this doesn’t require any proving time.
Milk + lemon juice = Buttermilk
Making a dish which requires buttermilk, but you don’t have any handy? Try adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to the amount of milk the recipe requires. Leave it for five minutes and you’ll see the milk curdling and turning into buttermilk. This ‘cheat’s buttermilk,’ will also add a delicious tangy flavour. Now you have no excuse not to get the frying pan out and make some scrumptious buttermilk pancakes!
Mashed banana = Eggs
Ever eaten a slice of banana bread and wondered why it’s so satisfyingly squidgy? Turns out it’s because bananas are a great way to make any cake super moist. So, if you’re baking and discover you’re short on eggs, try adding half a mashed banana to your batter. Your cake definitely won’t be dry, although this kitchen substitute may add a slight banana flavour (which could be a positive thing!)
Potato water = Cornflour
We know this sounds a bit odd, but bare with us. Potato water is full of starch and a great (gluten free) way to thicken soups, stews and gravies. You can even add it to bread - it adds flavour, keeps it soft and helps to aid it rise. Who knew that you could get many uses out of boiled potatoes?
Do you have a go-to ingredient substitution? We’ve been sharing lots of cooking hint, tips and tricks in our Facebook community and we’d love to hear yours! You can also find us on Instagram at @CirculonUK.