What can I use instead of yeast in pizza dough?

Making pizza dough usually requires active dry yeast to help the dough rise. However, if you find yourself without yeast, don’t worry! There are several handy ingredients you likely already have in your pantry that can be used as substitutes.

Quick Answer

Some common yeast substitutes for pizza dough include:

  • Baking powder
  • Self-rising flour
  • Club soda
  • Greek yogurt
  • Buttermilk

While the texture and rise time may vary compared to traditional yeast dough, these simple swaps can help you still achieve delicious homemade pizza in a pinch.

Baking Powder

Baking powder is a quick and easy substitute for yeast in pizza dough. It acts as a leavening agent to help the dough rise. Simply use 1 1⁄2 teaspoons of baking powder for every 1 teaspoon of yeast the recipe calls for. The resulting crust will be lighter and crispier in texture.

For example, if the dough recipe requires 1 tablespoon of yeast, use 4 1⁄2 teaspoons of baking powder instead. Make sure to thoroughly mix it into the dry ingredients first before adding the wet ingredients. Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes before rolling it out to allow the baking powder time to react.

While this makes an easy last-minute swap, baking powder dough won’t have quite the same elasticity or chewiness as yeast. It also won’t provide the same rising power. But it can still make a tasty crust!

Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour is another handy ingredient to keep on hand for yeast-free pizza dough. This all-purpose flour already has salt and leavening agents added. Typically the leavening agent used is baking powder.

To use it, simply replace all-purpose flour in a pizza dough recipe with self-rising flour, 1:1 by weight. No need to add any extra leavening. The dough will be quick to mix up and doesn’t require time to rise.

Again, the texture will be a bit more cake-like and airy than traditional yeast dough. But self-rising flour makes a super easy, fast route to pizza that still tastes great.

Club Soda

The carbonation and acidity in club soda can help give some lift to pizza dough minus yeast. Replace 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup of the water or other liquid in the dough recipe with club soda instead.

The carbon dioxide released from the club soda generates bubbles in the dough, causing it to rise slightly. A simple swap like this allows you to make pizza dough without a trip to the store for yeast.

Club soda dough will take a bit longer to rise and may not rise as tall as yeast-leavened dough. But it can create a nice airy and tender texture.

Greek Yogurt

Plain Greek yogurt is thick, tangy, and contains helpful live cultures that can get pizza dough to rise sans yeast. Simply swap out 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup of the flour in a dough recipe for the same amount of yogurt.

The lactic acid present in yogurt helps the dough develop gluten for a nice chewy crust. Let the dough rest for about 20 minutes before baking to allow some rising time. The end result will be a fluffier dough with a hint of tang.


Like Greek yogurt, the natural acids and cultures in buttermilk can provide some leavening power to pizza dough. Replace 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup of the liquid called for in a dough recipe with buttermilk.

Let the dough rest for at least 20 minutes before rolling out to allow the buttermilk to work its magic. Expect a tender, mildly tangy crust with a little lift.

Tips for Yeast-Free Pizza Dough

When using any of these handy yeast substitutes, keep these tips in mind:

  • Allow extra rising time, at least 20-30 minutes
  • Expect a thinner, denser crust
  • Add a bit more leavening than the yeast amount called for
  • Mix and knead the dough well to develop gluten
  • Let the shaped crust rest before adding toppings
  • Keep the toppings light to avoid a soggy crust

While it takes some experimentation to get the ratios just right, you can definitely create a tasty pizza crust without yeast. Don’t let the absence of yeast stop you from whipping up a homemade pizza for dinner!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make pizza dough without yeast or baking powder?

Yes, it is possible to make pizza dough without yeast or baking powder. Other options include using self-rising flour, club soda, Greek yogurt, or buttermilk. These ingredients add lift to the dough through their acidity, cultures, or carbonation.

What can I use if I don’t have self-rising flour?

If you don’t have self-rising flour, make your own by mixing all-purpose flour with leavening agents. Use 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt. This makes a good substitute for 1 cup self-rising flour.

How long does yeast-free pizza dough need to rise?

Yeast-free pizza dough made with baking powder should sit for 5-10 minutes before baking. Dough made with self-rising flour, yogurt, club soda or buttermilk will benefit from resting 20-30 minutes before rolling and topping to allow for some rising action.

Should I let the yeast-free dough rise twice?

A second rise isn’t necessary for yeast-free pizza dough. The leavening from baking powder, soda, yogurt, etc. will provide enough lift, so you can shape, top, and bake the pizza after just one short rest.

Can I freeze and thaw yeast-free pizza dough?

Yes, you can freeze yeast-free pizza dough to use later. Shape it into a disk, wrap well in plastic, and freeze up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before rolling out and topping. The texture may be a little different after freezing but still works great.

The Best Yeast Substitutes for Pizza Dough

When you find yourself without yeast but craving homemade pizza, don’t worry. With ingredients like baking powder, Greek yogurt, and club soda you can whip up dough for a tasty artisan-style pizza.

Here’s a quick guide to the amounts to use for a standard pizza dough recipe:

Yeast Substitute Amount to Use
Baking powder 1 1⁄2 teaspoons per 1 teaspoon yeast
Self-rising flour Use 1:1 for all-purpose flour
Club soda Replace 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup liquid with club soda
Greek yogurt Replace 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup flour with yogurt
Buttermilk Replace 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup liquid with buttermilk

With a simple swap you can enjoy chewy, bubbly, yeasty-tasting pizza crust anytime without having to run to the store. What will you top your homemade yeast-free pizza with?

Creative Recipes for Yeast-Free Pizza Crust

Once you get the basic technique down, get creative with these fun flavor variations on yeast-free pizza crust:

Whole Wheat Crust

For a nutty, wheaty crust, use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour. The bran in whole wheat gives the crust more texture.

Spelt Flour Crust

Earthy, nutty spelt flour makes a delicious ancient grain crust. Replace up to half the regular flour with spelt flour.

Multigrain Crust

Mix in 2-3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal plus 1⁄4 cup oats to the dough for a hearty, wholesome crust.

Cauliflower Crust

For a low-carb crust, pulse riced cauliflower in a food processor to make “cauliflower flour” to use instead of regular flour.

Pretzel Crust

For a savory base, use baking soda instead of baking powder. Brush the shaped crust with egg wash and sprinkle with pretzel salt before baking.

Pesto Swirl Crust

Swirl pesto into the dough before shaping for an herby, aromatic green crust.

Bubble Garlic Knot Crust

Shape the dough into mini garlic knots before stretching into a crust. The knots will provide air pockets.


With a clever swap for yeast like self-rising flour, baking powder, or club soda, you can quickly DIY pizza dough in a pinch. While the texture may differ from traditional yeast crust, you can still achieve delicious results. Let the dough rest before topping to allow the makeshift leaveners time to work.

Don’t let a lack of yeast get in the way of homemade pizza night. With a yeast substitute you can enjoy a hot bubbly pizza in under an hour. Getting creative with flavor additions like pesto or pretzel salt takes it to the next level.

What will your next yeast-free pizza night feature? With the right ingredients and techniques, you can whip up the perfect easy, yeast-free pizza crust anytime.

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