Last Updated on February 6, 2023
When it comes to baking bread, yeast is a common ingredient that gives bread its wonderful rise. Brewers yeast for baking is a common alternative some people use for traditional types of baking yeast. Though it offers a different flavor profile than baking yeasts do, it can still make some delicious types of bread.
Though many bread recipes will call for active dry or instant yeast, some will call for brewer’s yeast. In some cases, the two can be used interchangeably, but it is always best to use what the recipe calls for. Brewer’s yeast is even used as a health supplement in some cases.
What is Brewer’s Yeast?
Brewer’s yeast is a type of yeast that is used for brewing beer. It is a species of one-celled fungus that is classified as Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae). Different strains of S. cerevisiae can be used for different types of beers, baking certain bread, and even for supplements.
Brewer’s yeast is a slow-rising yeast, which is what makes it particularly great for brewing beer. Though it can be used for bread and as a nutritional supplement, it has a distinct bitter taste that some people are not a fan of.
Types of Brewer’s Yeast
Different strains of brewer’s yeast are used to make beer. Different strains are ideal for different types of beers. Though in contemporary brewing, there are two main kinds, ale, and lager, there are other varieties that have been developed.
Ale yeast is a type of top-fermenting yeast that is used for stouts, ales, porters, and wheat beer. Within ale yeast, there are several different strains. The ideal fermentation temperature for ale yeast is 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lager yeast is used to make lagers and pilsners. To brew lagers and pilsners, you need to use lager yeast, also known as Saccharomyces uvarum. This type of yeast is known as bottom-fermenting yeast.
Many brewers of Belgian beer use their proprietary blend of ale yeast. It is what gives Belgian beer its specific taste.
Most wheat beers use a specific strain of yeast to give them their signature taste. Oftentimes, yeast doesn’t flocculate well in wheat beer, which gives it its cloudy appearance.
Brewer’s Yeast vs Baking Yeast
Though they are both types of yeast, brewer’s yeast and baking yeast are different. Like brewer’s yeast, there are different types of baking yeast. The most common types of baking yeast you will find are active dry and fast-rising.
Brewer’s yeast turns liquid into alcohol as it breakdowns sugars to make both CO2 and ethanol. Baking yeast is typically added to warm water, warm milk, or straight into the dough. It feeds on the starch in flour, creating carbon dioxide bubbles that cause the dough to rise.
In some cases, you can use baking yeast and brewer’s yeast interchangeably. However, brewer’s yeast does have a distinct bitter taste. If using brewer’s yeast for baking yeast, do not use lager yeast, as it is a bottom-fermenting yeast and won’t work well for bread.
The main difference between brewer’s yeast and baking yeast is the amount of alcohol they produce. Brewer’s yeast produces both alcohol and CO2, whereas baking yeast produces large amounts of CO2, but barely any alcohol.
Brewers Yeast for Baking
If desired, you can use brewer’s yeast for baking. Just be sure to use a top-fermenting yeast such as ale for your baking needs. When using brewer’s yeast instead of baking yeast, follow the directions just as the recipe says, unless otherwise stated.
Foods That Contain Brewer’s Yeast
You will most commonly find brewer’s yeast in different types of beer. However, some types of food use brewer’s yeast as well. This includes some types of bread, cereals with malt, malt liquor, hard cider, and even candies that contain malt; among other things.
Brewer’s Yeast Recipes
In most cases, you can use brewer’s yeast in place of baking yeast. However, it will affect the taste of your recipe, so it might not be the best for sweeter recipes such as cinnamon rolls or brioche bread.
You can use brewer’s yeast to make artisan bread, pizza dough, and more. Some people will even use brewer’s yeast in muffins and cookies for added health benefits.
How to Use Brewer’s Yeast
If you are using brewer’s yeast in place of baking yeast, the amount of yeast will be the same. In addition, the instructions you follow in the recipe will likely be the same as well. You typically do not need to make any changes when using brewer’s yeast, just be sure that you are using ale yeast and not lager yeast.
Where to Buy Brewer’s Yeast
You can find brewer’s yeast in some grocery stores and superstores, but it will depend on the location. You can find it online and many health stores sell it as well. In addition, you may be able to find it at some beer and liquor stores too.
Is Brewers Yeast the Same as Active Yeast?
No. While they are both types of yeast, when it comes down to it, they are not the same ingredient and are both mainly used for different foods and drinks. Saying this, you can usually use them interchangeably in many recipes. It will however make whatever you’re making taste slightly different. Brewer’s yeast tends to have quite a bitter flavor.
Active Dry Yeast vs Brewers Yeast
Now that we know that brewer’s yeast and active dry yeast are different, you may want to know the similarities and differences between the two. Let’s take a closer look.
In terms of similarity, both types of yeast are part of a group of single-cell fungi called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. They also both help baked goods rise, which is their main purpose in baking.
However, when it comes to differences: brewer’s yeast contains high amounts of alcohol, whereas active dry least contains very little at all, and mainly produces CO2.
They can both make bread and baked goods rise, but active dry yeast is particularly good at leavening baked goods such as coffee cake, and bread products such as brioche and pastries like croissants.
Substitution for Brewers Yeast
If you’re unable to locate brewer’s yeast, or simply do not want to use it in your baking due to its fairly unpleasant taste, you may be looking for a substitute. Some of the best substitutions include:
- baking soda. Baking soda is a great leavening agent and doesn’t have an overpowering taste. However, you’ll need to mix it with an acidic ingredient. such as vinegar or lemon juice. You should add equal amounts of baking soda and the acidic ingredient of your choice. Mix and leave to rest for a few minutes before using.
- Marmite. It’s worth mentioning that marmite has a strong flavor that you’re likely to either love or hate. For this reason, you may want to try this alternative before you add it to your baked goods. Marmite is actually made by using brewer’s yeast, so it’s easy to substitute. The ratio is 1:1. So for one teaspoon of brewer’s yeast, you’ll need one teaspoon of marmite.
- nutritional yeast. This type of yeast and brewers yeast are very similar. The only difference is the taste. Nutritional yeast has an earthy, nutty taste. While it can work in baking recipes, I prefer it in savory dishes such as sauces and salads.
- sourdough. If you’re looking for a quick fix, using sourdough as an alternative is not the choice for you. Sourdough can take up to three times longer to leaven than other types of yeast, such as brewer’s yeast. However, the flavor is great, smells good, and is perfect in all baked goods.
- dry brewer’s yeast. This yeast is the same, just a dry version. You’ll have to use less dry brewer’s yeast than what the recipe calls for. This is a great option for bread-type products.
- miso. The ratio of brewer’s yeast to miso is 1:1, so it’s super easy to substitute. This substitute works best for savory foods such as sauces and soups. It’s also full of nutrients, which makes it a healthy alternative.
Where Can You Buy Brewers Yeast
Essentially, you can buy brewers yeast from almost anywhere! Most grocery stores will offer this as an option. If not, it’s available from a range of online stores, such as Amazon.
Using Brewers Yeast for Your Baking Needs
Brewer’s yeast and baking yeast are both one-celled fungi called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Within brewer’s yeast and baking yeast, different strands vary slightly. Both types of yeast will change sugar and starch into carbon dioxide and alcohol.
If you would like, you can replace your baking yeast with brewer’s yeast and vice versa. Brewer’s yeast has a distinct flavor profile that is bitter, so it may not be the best option for all bread recipes. Though some love the flavor it gives bread, others are not a fan of it.
Do you have any questions regarding brewers yeast for baking? If so, please ask your yeast questions in the comment section below.
Does Brewer's Yeast Make Dough Rise?
Like baking yeast, brewer's yeast will also make dough rise. When it comes in contact will carbohydrates, it will create CO2, which will make the bread rise. You can substitute brewer's yeast for baking yeast in equal amounts.
Ever since she was a young girl, Anna has been a lover of desserts. As an adult, she enjoys
baking a variety of desserts from cakes, cookies, brownies, bread, and more from scratch. She
enjoys sharing her passion for baking with others who also have a sweet tooth. From properly
measuring ingredients to making sure they are the correct temperature, Anna knows the
importance small details can make in baking. She wants to share her experience with others in
hopes they can make the most delicious baked goods. When she’s not busy blogging, Anna
enjoys trying new recipes in the kitchen.